By Victor Kanayo
Defending champions Senegal and minnows Cape Verde are the first countries to comfortably breeze into the second round of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’ivoire.
While Senegal gained their place in the last 16 with a 3-1 win over Cameroon in Group C, Cape Verde outclassed Mozambique 3-0 on Friday.
How Senegal Sailed Through
Ismaila Sarr put Senegal in front in the 16th minute and Habib Diallo made it 2-0 midway through the second half, despite having Andre Onana of Manchester United mount the goal post for the Indomitable Lions.
Jean-Charles Castelletto headed in to pull one back with seven minutes remaining to set up a nervy ending.
But, after George-Kevin Nkoudou had missed a free header to equalise, Sadio Mane sealed the win in stoppage time.
Cameroon, five-time continental champions, have one point after two games and will most likely need to win their final group tie against The Gambia on Tuesday to progress to the knockout stages.
Cape Verde’s Soaring Scales
On their part, Cape Verde’s victory inside Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, secured their place in the competition’s Round of 16.
The Blue Sharks, who had already stunned Ghana 2-1 in their opening match, took the lead in the 32th minute after a right-footed shot from outside the area by Bedé following a free kick.
They consolidated their grip on the match in the 51st minute when Ryan Mendes fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box into the bottom left-hand corner.
With a third goal from Kevin Pina, who fired a shot from outside the penalty area into the bottom left-hand corner, Cape Verde’s dominance throughout the match was evident in their possession and numerous scoring opportunities.