Updated January 30th, 2024 at 09:15 IST

Cape Verde into Africa Cup Of Nations quarterfinals after late penalty vs Mauritania

After overcoming Mauritania 1-0 on Monday, Ryan Mendes netted a late penalty for Cape Verde to advance to the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Ryan Mendes celebrates with team mates after scoring the opening goal from a penalty kick during AFCON round of 16 soccer match between Cape Verde and Mauritania at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium | Image: AP

Ryan Mendes scored a late penalty for Cape Verde to make Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals after topping Mauritania 1-0 on Monday.

Mendes scored from the spot in the 88th minute after Mauritania goalkeeper Babacar Niasse brought down substitute Gilson Benchimol, who was through on goal after a defensive mistake.


It was Mauritania’s first ever Africa Cup game in the knockout stage. The Lions of Chinguetti defeated Algeria 1-0 last week for their first ever win on their third appearance in the tournament.

Cape Verde made a better start but failed to really trouble Niasse.


Roberto “Pico” Lopes marshalled the Blue Sharks’ back four and produced an important tackle to stop Sidi Bouna Amar with Mauritania’s best chance of the first half in the 42nd.

Souleymane Anne had an even better chance midway through the second half, but he was unable to make the most of Sidi Amar’s through ball.


Cape Verde finished strongly as the Mauritanians tired from their exertions. Ibrahima Keita was their second player stretchered off in the 80th after Omaré Gassama in the first half.

Cape Verde surprisingly won a group that included heavyweights Ghana and Egypt.


The Blue Sharks, who also reached the quarterfinals in 2013, will next play host Ivory Coast or defending champion Senegal, who met later in Yamoussoukro. Ivory Coast barely reached the knockout round thanks only to results in other groups. It also fired its coach and tried unsuccessfully to hire another.


Published January 30th, 2024 at 09:15 IST