Blue Sharks, Lions of Chinguetti, in pursuit of a dream
Abidjan’s Félix Houphouët Boigny stadium hosts an interesting TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 round of 16 clashes between two sides that have dispelled the underdog’s tag.
Cape Verde faces off against Mauritania in an exciting duel of two sides that have caused significant upsets in Cote d’Ivoire over the last few weeks.
For Al-Murabitun (الْمُرَابِطُون) Lions of Chinguetti of Mauritania, their first-ever TotalEnergies CAF AFCON win secured them their first knockout spot, where they will meet with the Tubarões Azuis (Blue Sharks) of Cape Verde, who have been in fine form with a top finish in Group B that had heavyweights such as Ghana and Egypt.
Both coaches oozed confidence at their pre-match press conference on Sunday, 28 January, ahead of the Monday evening clash.
This is what they had to say:
Bubista – Cape Verde coach
“Mauritania is a difficult opponent. This team showed cohesion and quality. Their victory against Algeria is well deserved. They have a solid defense. This will be a tactical encounter, and we must play our cards well and not falter in the last four”.
Tiago Correia – Cape Verde striker
“We are aware of the importance of these matches. For us, this is something unique. We are focused on the same goal. We just have victory in sight”.
Amir Abdou – Mauritania coach
“Cape Verde is an attractive team. They score many goals and concede, too, which is a loophole we will try to use. I have a competitive group, and I know we are capable of anything”.
Lamine Ba – Mauritania defender
“We got off to a bad start, but now a new competition is starting. We know that the Mauritanian authorities have put several things in place so that our supporters are present during this match, and we are counting heavily on them”.