After recording their largest ever margin of victory at AFCON, South Africa would go on to dispatch Africa’s top-ranked side, Morocco. Achraf Hakimi squandered a late penalty as Bafana Bafana saw off The Atlas Lions to set up a quarter-final against Cape Verde.

To win (90 min)
 Cape Verde 14/10  
 Draw 17/10
 South Africa 21/10


The surprise package of the tournament, Cape Verde have defied the bookies in making it thus far. Captain Ryan Mendes dispatched a penalty that helped Cape Verde overcome Mauritania in the dying stages of their clash to reach the AFCON quarter-finals, for just the second time in their history.

Their game against the Almoravids had chances at both ends in a lively and fully committed encounter. Despite this, the deadlock was only broken in the 88th minute, which echoed a fixture that lacked real quality, especially in the final third. The Blue Sharks have been in a purple patch, at the business of the pitch. Cape Verde have scored 8 goals in half as many fixtures, only three nations (Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Angola, all 9) have found the back of the net more often, ahead of this round of fixtures.  

Bubista’s men had secured top spot in Group B, prior to the showdown with Egypt on the final matchday of the group stages. Ahead of that one, the Cabo Verde tactician made seven changes to his starting XI to face the North Africans. To the Egyptians surprise, the makeshift side started to settle into the game and opened the scoring just before the half time whistle. The fixture would ultimately end in a stalemate, but it emphasised Cape Verde’s AFCON ambitions.


Bafana Bafana produced one of the biggest upsets at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, in knocking out 10-man Morocco. The first half was a nervy encounter, with neither side holding their punches. Second half strikes from Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena would prove the difference as Hugo Broos’s chargers marched on!

South Africa’s victory over the 2022 World Cup semi-finalists may have been a fluke .. or was it? The defence held firm throughout the tie, with Mamelodi Sundowns shot stopper earning his third clean sheet of the tournament. Further to this, there would have been confidence in the Bafana camp as the Altas Lions tasted defeat in Johannesburg, as recent as several months ago during the AFCON qualifiers.

Despite the omission of some high profile South Africans, namely Foster, Mayo, Lorch and Hlongwane, coach Hugo Broos has led his team to the quarters and are showing no signs of slowing down. Their path to a potential semi-final against Nigeria or Angola is likely to test their defensive resolve again, but I don’t see any hiccups against a Cape Verde side that required 88 minutes to open the scoring against Mauritania.

PREDICTION: South Africa to take it !

The 1996 AFCON champions will look to improve upon their quarter-final exit on their most recent appearance, in 2019. Whilst the Blue Sharks are yet to see defeat in Ivory Coast, this new look Bafana Bafana outfit should be too strong for them.

Written by Desh Parthab