Ghana will join 15 countries on the continent beginning January 19, to compete for the converted African Cup of Nations to be hosted by South Africa.
The competition which has the Chipolopolos of Zambia, as defending champions, will be taking place for the first time in an odd year since the Confederation of Africa, opted to switch the biannual meeting from the even times.
Ghana, will be chasing a fifth continental glory which spans three decades in a tourney which has Cape Verde, playing as debutant having ousted the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon en-route to the competition.
Ghana News Agency Sports continues the profiling of the 16 teams for the competition with a profile for debutant, Cape Verde.
Nicknamed the Tubarões Azuis or the (Blue Sharks), Cape Verde, makes a debut appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations beginning in South Africa, on January 19.
The closest Cape Verde, came to qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations was in 2006, which saw them trailing South Africa, for a better part of the journey to the competition held in Egypt.
Cape Verde did not participate in the World Cup preliminary stages from 1930 to 1998 and made a first attempt at qualifying for the Nations Cup in 1994. After that failed quest, the Blue Sharks made a return from the year 2000 onwards and proceeded to winning the Amilcar Cabral Cup once in (2000) and the Lusophony Games once nine years on.
Known as the most capped Cape Verde player ever, Coach Bubista who leads his charges to the South Africa gathering also holds a national record goal scorer is Joao Pedro da Viega.
Cape Verde snatched an unlikely Nations Cup ticket from Cameroun in the course of their double-legged qualifier, thus ensuring the four-time champions missed out on a second consecutive tournament.
The debutant played out a 1-2 loss at the Stade Ahmadu Ahidjo, in October, in the second leg, complementing a surprising 2-0 win at home during the earlier fixture in Praia to produce one of African football’s most impressive giant-killing feats in recent times.
Pitted in Group A alongside South Africa, Morocco and Angola, Cape Verde plays the host in the tournament’s opener in Johannesburg on Saturday, Jan. 19. GNA