Cape Verde and South Africa are set to face each other once again in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, marking their second encounter after a 0-0 draw during the 2013 group stage. Notably, this previous meeting took place in South Africa, where the 2013 edition was hosted.
South Africa has reached the quarter-finals in three of their last four Africa Cup of Nations appearances, aspiring to make it to the semi-finals for the first time since 2000, when they suffered a 2-0 defeat against Nigeria. In contrast, Cape Verde has displayed a strong performance in AFCON 2023, winning three out of four matches and scoring eight goals, surpassing their achievements in the previous 11 competition games combined.
Cape Verde is eager to advance to the semi-finals, making their second appearance in the quarter-finals after a 2013 defeat to Ghana. South Africa, on the other hand, has achieved three consecutive clean sheets at the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since February 1998.
South Africa’s lineup at AFCON 2023 has seen minimal changes, with only two alterations, the fewest among all participating teams. In contrast, Cape Verde has made 14 changes, second only to Guinea, who made 17 changes in the competition.
Cape Verde boasts the oldest average starting XI at AFCON 2023, with an average age of 29 years and 64 days. Notably, five of their eight goals have been scored by players aged 30 or over, a feat not seen since Egypt in 1998.
Themba Zwane has played a pivotal role for South Africa, contributing to 50% of their goals at the tournament with two goals and one assist. He has the opportunity to become the first Bafana Bafana player to score three goals in a single AFCON edition since Shaun Bartlett in 2000, who scored five goals.