Cape Verde Sunday night got off to a winning start against Ethiopia at the Africa Cup Nations as the first set of games in Group A were completed.
Julio Tavares’ header just before half time and assisted by Rodriguez proved to be the difference between both sides, as Caper Verde secured maximum points in the not too inspiring tie at the Stade Omnisport Paul Biya.
The second Group A game got off to a fiery start as Ethiopia were reduced to ten men barely 12 minutes into the game.
Defender Yared Bayeh had his yellow card upgraded to a red after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) spotted he was the last man when bringing down Júlio Tavares.
This development forced Ethiopia’s coach to re-shuffle his pack as Mohammed Mesud had to make way for Mignot Dada
The Blue Sharks almost went ahead in the 27th minute but goalkeeper Teklermarim Shanko produced a fine save to prevent the own goal at his near post.
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Cape Verde kept pushing until they finally made their numerical advantage count just before the break when Garry Rodrigues did well to cut the ball back for Tavares, who nodded into an empty net.
Despite being a man down for the majority of the game, Ethiopia managed to carve out a couple efforts at goal but they were not so lucky.
The Ethiopians made a double change for the final 30 minutes of the encounter, as Getaneh Kebede and Amanuel Gebremichael made way for Fitsum Alemu and Firew Solomon.
Wubetu Abate’s charges did make a late push for an equaliser in the second half, but Cape Verde remained resolute at the back to secure three points and go level with the Indomitable Lions at the top of Group A with three points.