We were sad and that is a good thing—Mozambique coach ahead of second AFCON match against Cape Verde

* It is up to us to work harder so that this does not happen again

* The early goal by Egypt goal did not startle his side

* Neither disturbed their game plan it actually motivated us to play even harder

Maravi Express

Confederation of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) representatives, Mambas of Mozambique stung African giants all the way to the wire leading 2-1 until the closing stages of the game when they gave away a penalty.


Defender Domingos Macandza brought down Egypt Mostafa Mohammed and after VAR review, Egypt were awarded a penalty which Mo Salah stepped up to score and draw level.

The 7-time champions were first to score in the 2nd minute through Mohamed Mostafa but the Mambas stayed focused and came close to getting an equalizer after Mohamed Abdelmonem was forced to put the ball into his own net but goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy managed to save the situation.

The Mambas then came into the second half much stronger and equalized through Witness Quembo in the 55th minute and three minutes later, they took the lead through Clesio Bauque when he broke through the Egyptian defence to set up a one-on-one with Shenawy to score.

The result disheartened coach Conde Chiquinho, who told CAFonline that they were so close — the lead was almost in their hands: “We were sad and that is a good thing because we are not satisfied with what we got.

“However, it is up to us to work harder so that this does not happen again,” said Chiquinho ahead of their second match tomorrow as Egypt take on Ghana — who were beaten 2-1 by Cape Verde on Sunday.

Even though they managed to hold the former champions to a draw, Chiquinho said he was not satisfied with getting a point in a match that he feels could have gone their way.

He applauded his charges that after conceding that early, the goal did not startle his side neither disturbed their game plan, saying: “It actually motivated us to play even harder.”

Tomorrow’s will be the first encounter between Cape Verde and Mozambique at the AFCON in which remain winless in 13 attempts (D3 L10), although in their 2-2 draw with Egypt they went ahead for just the second time, also doing so in 1996 against Tunisia (1-0 up, drew 1-1).

They are still yet to keep a clean sheet at the AFCON in 13 attempts, conceding 28 goals. All six of Mozambique’s goals at the AFCON have been scored by different players – four of then being scored between the 54th and 58th minutes, including both in their 2-2 draw against Egypt (Quembo in the 55th and Bauque in 58th).

Cape Verde are unbeaten in their last three matches against Mozambique (W2 D1) — all came in qualifiers for the AFCON Côte d’Ivoire 2023.

They registered their third ever win at the AFCON (D6 L3), with their last two wins coming on MD1 (also 1-0 vs Ethiopia in 2022). They have never won consecutive games at AFCON before.


Cape Verde have only lost one of 10 AFCON group stage matches (W3 D6), although that one defeat did come on MD2 of the 2022 tournament, losing 0-1 to Burkina Faso.

Egypt need to be wary of Ghana as the Black Stars are wounded following their loss. This will be the fifth encounter between between the two sides at the AFCON — having met three times previously in the group stages (one win each, one draw and two goals each) and once in the final, which Egypt won 1-0 in 2010.

Egypt have won their last two matches against Ghana at the AFCON —1-0 in the 2010 final, 1-0 in the 2017 group stages and in the four previous matches between them have produced only five goals.

Egypt have lost only one of their last 20 AFCON group stage matches (W14 D5) — a 1-0 defeat to Nigeria in 2022 and following their 2-2 draw with Mozambique, the Pharaohs will be looking to avoid failing to win either of their first two group games in a tournament since doing so in 1992, which included defeat to Ghana.

Mo Salah

Mohammed Salah’s first goal for Egypt at the AFCON came against Ghana, in 2017 (1-0) and he has scored in each of his last two appearances against the Black Stars — in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in 2016 and at the 2017 AFCON.

Mo Salah has scored seven goals at the AFCON and will be chasing Hassan El-Shazly (12), Hossam Hassan (11) and Ahmed Hassan (8) in the list of leading Egyptian scorers in the competition.

He also became the first Egyptian player to score at four different AFCON tournaments (2017, 2019, 2022, 2023), thanks to his late penalty against Mozambique on Sunday.

The Black Stars haven’t lost their first two matches in a tournament since 1984, losing to Nigeria and Algeria and they are winless in their last five matches at the AFCON (D2 L3), their longest ever winless run in the competition.

The Black Stars

They have lost their last two matches (2-3 vs Comoros in 2022, 1-2 vs Cape Verde on Sunday — never before losing three in a row at AFCON.

Four of Ghana’s last five goals at the tournament have come via a set piece (three corners, one free kick), with the last two both scored by defender Alexander Djiku.

The last Ghana player to score three consecutive goals at the AFCON was Mubarak Wakaso in 2013.

Against Cape Verde, Ghana captain, Andre Ayew made history as he has played in a record of 8 times — alongside Tunisian captain, Youssef Msakni — equalling the record held by Cameroon’s Rigobert Song and Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan.

Andre Ayew

Tunisia’s captain Youssef Msakni

Ayew and Msakni are aged 34 and 33 years respectively and Ayew had his first AFCON in 2008, hosted in his country, when he was just 18 years old. 

Since then, he has only missed the 2013 edition, following an exclusion from coach James Kwesi Appiah’s team due to injury.

The Le Havre player has 118 caps with Ghana, including 35 in the AFCON and Msakni has worn the Tunisian colours since 2009. 

Since 2010, Youssef Msakni has taken part in all editions of the AFCON with the Carthage Eagles his game when they were beaten 0-1 by Namibia is his 100th cap for Tunisia.

Rigobert Song

Ahmed Hassan

Rigobert Song and Ahmed Hassan both played in eight AFCON between 1996 and 2010 with the Cameroonian winning two titles, in 2000 and 2002 while the Egyptian won three trophies (2006, 2008 and 2010).

Ayew and Msakni on the other hand, despite this long experience in the competition, have still not won the ultimate yet as the Ghanaian has often come so close to winning , having played and lost two finals in 2010 against Egypt and in 2015 against Cote D’Ivoire. 

Msakni’s best performance for Tunisia remains the fourth place obtained in 2019 in Egypt.—Info from CAFonline