AFCON 2021: Ethiopia vs Cape Verde (0 – 1)

On the opening day of the Africa Cup of Nations, striker Julio Tavares scored the game’s only goal as Cape Verde Islands overcame Ethiopia 1-0 despite their Covid-19 troubles.

On the stroke of half-time at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Tavares scored a diving header after a beautiful cutback pass from Garry Rodrigues, as the Cape Verdians joined hosts Cameroon atop the Group A rankings.
Cape Verde had to start the match without coach Bubista, who was sent in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus, and only had six substitutes on the bench, with nine more players isolating and two injured.

After 10 minutes, Ethiopia’s task was made simpler when defender Yared Bayeh was sent off.

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With the Cape Verde striker bearing down on goal, he tripped Tavares from behind, and Angolan referee Helder Martins, who had initially reprimanded Bayeh, changed his mind after consulting the pitchside VAR screen

Despite being down a man, Ethiopia fought valiantly on and appeared to be taking a psychological boost into the break by holding Cape Verde at bay, before Tavares’ gutsy finish from close range.

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