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Posted 2024-02-03 09:37:10  
Bafana Out to grab Afcon Semi slot

At 10 pm South African time, the clash unfolds at Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro as South Africa faces Cape Verde in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals, aiming to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2000.

Despite the Bafana Bafana's past semi-final success in three Afcon appearances, they've struggled to surpass the quarter-finals lately. Now, they confront a formidable Cape Verde side eager to achieve this historic feat for the first time.

In the previous round, the Islanders secured their spot by defeating Mauritania 1-0, while the 1996 champions triumphed over favorites Morocco 2-0 in the round of 16.

Both teams, surprising pundits with their impressive performances, now stand at the tournament's last eight and aspire to advance further. This marks the second meeting between Cabo Verde and South Africa at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, following their 2013 0-0 draw in the group stage, which was Cabo Verde's inaugural match in the competition.

Key highlights include South Africa's pursuit to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2000 and Cabo Verde's quest for their first-ever semi-final appearance after their last quarter-final in 2013.

In terms of lineup dynamics, South Africa has made only two changes to their starting eleven at AFCON 2023, the joint fewest of any side. In contrast, Cabo Verde has made 14 changes, the second-highest in the competition.

Cabo Verde, with an average starting XI age of 29 years and 64 days, possesses the oldest team at AFCON 2023. Notably, five of their eight goals have been scored by players aged 30 or over.

The statistics reveal Cabo Verde's dominance in dribbling, attempting the most at the 2023 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, with 95 attempts and 44 successful. Themba Zwane has been a key player for South Africa, directly involved in 50% of their goals at AFCON 2023.

Ryan Mendes leads Cabo Verde in goal involvements, being directly involved in more goals (four – two goals, two assists) than any other player at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. His three goal involvements (two goals, one assist) at AFCON 2023 also stand as the most by a Cabo Verde player in a single edition.

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