We look ahead to Friday’s Group B clash at the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 with our Cape Verde vs Mozambique prediction and preview.

Cape Verde vs Mozambique: Pre-Match Facts

  • Cape Verde could seal their place in the last 16 with victory, and according to the Opta supercomputer, they are favourites to do so. They are predicted to beat Mozambique after winning 44.1% of pre-match simulations.
  • Cape Verde are unbeaten in their last three matches against Mozambique (W2 D1). They all came in qualifiers for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
  • The Islanders registered only their third ever win at the tournament when they beat Ghana last time out (D6 L3). They have never won consecutive games at the AFCON before.
  • Mozambique remain winless at the Africa Cup of Nations in 13 games (D3 L10), although in their 2-2 draw with Egypt they went ahead in a match (2-1 up) for just the second time, also doing so in 1996 against Tunisia (1-0 up, drew 1-1).
  • Cape Verde have only lost one of 10 AFCON group stage matches (W3 D6), although that one defeat did come on MD 2 of the 2021 edition, losing 1-0 to Burkina Faso.
  • Mozambique are yet to keep a clean sheet at the Africa Cup of Nations, conceding 28 goals in 13 games and at least twice in 12 of those. Only Zimbabwe (15 games) have ever played more matches at the AFCON without at least one shutout.
  • Two of Cape Verde’s three winning goals at the AFCON have been scored in the 90th minute, with Héldon scoring against Angola in 2013 and Garry Rodrigues against Ghana this year. The other was scored in first-half stoppage time in 2022 by Júlio Tavares vs Ethiopia.
  • Cape Verde had 15 shots in their 2-1 win over Ghana on MD 1, more than in their previous three games in the competition combined (13). It was the most they’d attempted in an AFCON game since January 2015 vs DR Congo (also 15).
  • All six of Mozambique’s AFCON goals have been scored by different players – four of those six have been scored between the 54th and 58th minutes, including both goals in their draw against Egypt (Witi in 55th minute, Clésio in 58th).
  • Garry Rodrigues has two AFCON goals in total for Cape Verde, scoring both as a substitute. In those two sub appearances, he’s had more shots on target (3) than he’s managed in the four AFCON games he’s started (1).

Match Preview

The two underdogs of Group B at the Africa Cup of Nations go into their duel at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium on the back of excellent results in their opening games.

Cape Verde sealed a dramatic late 2-1 win against a lacklustre Ghana on Matchday 1 thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Garry Rodrigues.

It was just Cape Verde’s third ever win at the AFCON, but it was more than deserved against the Black Stars. They had 15 shots in total, more than they’d managed in their previous three games in the competition combined (13). It was also the most they’d attempted in an AFCON game since January 2015 vs DR Congo (also 15).

Jamiro Monteiro gave Cape Verde a lead that they held until just before the hour, when Alexander Djiku levelled. That was Ghana’s only shot on target all game, though, and they paid for an insipid showing when they were unable to stop Gilson Benchimol from waltzing through their defence and poking the ball to fellow substitute Rodrigues for a 92nd-minute tap-in. Rodrigues and his teammates races into the stands to celebrate.

Ghana v Cape Verde xG race

Mozambique were mere minutes away from beating Egypt. A late Mohamed Salah penalty denied them, but a 2-2 draw was still a solid outcome.

It could still prove to be a valuable point for the Mambas, especially if they can get a win in this second game against Cape Verde. They may well need to score at least twice to do so, though.

Mozambique have never kept a clean sheet at the Africa Cup of Nations, conceding 28 goals in 13 games and letting in at least two in 12 of those. Only Zimbabwe (15 games) ever played more matches at the AFCON without at least one clean sheet.

They defended manfully in the main against Salah and Egypt, though, so will take heart from that as they look for their first ever AFCON victory. Mozambique have drawn three and lost 10 of their games in the tournament.

Egypt v Mozambique stats

Cape Verde vs Mozambique Head-to-Head

This will be the first encounter between Cape Verde and Mozambique at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

They have faced off four times in AFCON qualifying, though, with Cape Verde winning twice and Mozambique once (D1). Their last clash came in March 2021 when Cape Verde won 1-0 thanks to a Faisal Bangal own goal at Estádio Nacional do Zimpeto.

Cape Verde vs Mozambique Prediction

Cape Verde v Mozambique Opta predictor

After their big win over Ghana, the Opta supercomputer makes Cape Verde favourites to make it back-to-back wins and seal qualification. Bubista’s side have been handed a 44.1% chance of victory, with Mozambique considered to have a 30.2% likelihood. The draw is rated at 25.7%.

Our pre-tournament predictions had Cape Verde reaching the last 16 – as they did two years ago – in 52.9% of simulations, but after their opening victory, that has shot up close to 89.2% (at the time of writing).

Below are each team’s current, up-to-date chances of progression through AFCON 2023 according to the Opta supercomputer:

Cape Verde vs Mozambique Squads

Cape Verde: Márcio da Rosa, Vózinha, Dylan Silva, Stopira, Dylan Tavares, João Correia, Logan Costa, Steven Moreira, Pico, Diney Borges, Kenny Rocha, Laros Duarte, Deroy Duarte, Kevin Pina, Cuca, Patrick Andrade, Jamiro Monteiro, João Paulo, Ryan Mendes, Willy Semedo, Garry Rodrigues, Jovane Cabral, Bebé, Bryan Teixeira, Hélio Varela, Gilson Benchimol. 

Coach: Bubista

Mozambique: Ivan Urrubal, Ernan, Fazito, Reinildo, David Malembana, Domingos Macandza, Bruno Langa, Mexer, Nanani, Edmilson Dove, Amadou, Clésio, Guima, Alfons Amade, Dominguês, Shaquille, João Bonde, Nené, Gildo Lourenço, Stanley Ratifo, Geny Catamo, Witi, Lau King. 

Coach: Chiquinho Conde

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