AFCON 2013: Hosts South Africa draw 0-0 with Cape Verde Islands

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Monday, January 21, 2013

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File photo of the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, where the first match was played.
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Hosts South Africa played the Cape Verde Islands Saturday in the first game of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in Group A. The game ended 0–0 in front of 50,000 fans at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. The South African national team, known as Bafana Bafana, failed to score despite the home advantage.

Cape Verde, who made their Africa Cup of Nations debut, had one of the best chances of the game when Platini broke through on goal but fired wide. With the 0–0 score, the Cape Verde Islands, who have a population of only about 500,000, took their first point of the tournament.

After a long period of heavy rain in Johannesburg the conditions were wet, causing problems for play. Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozhina spilled a save from a free kick before eventually gathering the ball. With both teams failing to string together a series of passes, they resorted to long balls to advance up the pitch.

Towards the end of the game, South Africa had a penalty appeal rejected. The South African bench had called for a penalty after Bernard Parker appeared to have been brought down in the box by Toni Varela, but the referee carried on play.

South Africa nearly took the game in injury time but Bongani Khumalo's header floated over the crossbar from close range.

Both managers spoke to the media after the match, with differing reactions to the draw. South African coach Gordon Igesund said, "The first half was a complete waste of 45 minutes. We got a point. I don't think we deserve too much more than that, to be honest." Cape Verde manager Luico Antunes expressed joy with the result. He said, "I'm happy with the performance of the team. It'll make Cape Verde's 500,000 people happy. Today, I can hold my head up high. It means that our team has been well organised. Not conceding goals makes the team more confident."

South Africa and Cape Verde are in Group A along with Angola and Morocco.


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