(SATSports) – Julio Tavares scored the only goal of the game as Cape Verde opened their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a narrow 1-0 win against 10-man Ethiopia at the Olembe Stadium in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé on Sunday.
Ethiopia found themselves on the back-foot early on after Yared Bayeh was sent off in just the 12th minute after a VAR check for a professional foul on Tavares who was bearing down on goal.
Cape Verde pressed their extra-man advantage and eventually took the lead in first half added time when Tavares powered in a close-range header from Garry Rodrigues’ hooked cross.
Though the West Africans tried to add to their lead, they failed to find another break through and the game ended 1-0.
Ethiopia, however, had their goalkeeper, Teklemariam Balcha, to thank for keeping the score down and his side in the game as he pulled off a number of important saves.
Cape Verde is second in Group A, level on three points with hosts Cameroon who defeated Burkina Faso 2-1 in the tournament’s opening match earlier in the day.
Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, who are both still searching for their first points at the tournament, are third and fourth respectively.
Four games are lined up on Monday with the first featuring 2019 runners-up Senegal taking on Zimbabwe. The other games will see Guinea face Malawi, Morocco play Ghana and Comoros go up against Gabon.