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Roberto Lopes stars but Cape Verde fall to Burkina Faso defeat at 2021 AFCON

Roberto Lopes had another strong game at the heart of Cabo Verde’s defence but he was unable to prevent Burkina Faso running out 1-0 winners in Olembe.

The Shamrock Rovers defender played 90 minutes once again and showed composure both in defence and on the ball, but Cabo Verde rarely troubled Burkinabe keeper Hervé Koffi.

Hassan Bandé’s goal five minutes before half-time saw the Stallions to the narrowest of victories as they bounced back from an opening-day defeat to hosts Cameroon.

Cabo Verde, who won their first game against Ethiopia, are now likely to need a result when they face the hosts on Sunday to book a place in the last 16.

The Blue Sharks controlled large portions of the game but struggled to convert their possession into clear chances in the final third.

With Cameroon virtually guaranteed progression with six points from six, Bubista’s side may need a repeat of their 3-1 victory over the Indomitable Lions in qualifying to go forward.

Burkina Faso without their captain, the Aston Villa striker Bertrand Traoré, after he tested positive for Covid-19 but his replacement Bandé took his chance with both hands.

It was his finish with his chest just before half time that settled his game as he was picked out Manchester City youngster Issa Kaboré’s pinpoint cross from close range.

Burkina Faso had the better of the opening half with a string of chance in the lead up to what would be the winning goal.

AEL Limassol stopper Vozinha, recalled to the starting line-up after recovering from Covid, was lively to keep out Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba’s free kick after 12 minutes.

The 35-year-old stood tall once more midway through the half to deny Bandé after Tapsoba played in the striker, who plays his club football in Croatia with Istra 1961.

Cape Verde had their best chance to take the lead on the half-hour as Júlio Tavares, matchwinner against Ethiopia, forced Koffi to save from close range.

It would prove a costly miss for the island nation as Bandé showed great improvisation to turn home a wicked delivery from the on-loan Troyes full-back Kaboré.

Cape Verde took the game to Burkina Faso in the second half but the final ball was always lacking, Tavares putting in a poor cross late on after being picked out in space by Lopes.

Garry Rodrigues had a chance to tie things up in the dying minutes as he beat a tired Burkinebe offside trap but he dwelled on the ball, allowing Patrick Malo to mop up.

Cabo Verde face Cameroon in their final group game on Monday at 4pm Irish time, when even a point may not be enough to guarantee progression as one of the best third-placed teams.




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