Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes says his side should not be underestimated
Last Updated: 26/01/13 2:08pm
Manucho: Antunes also acknowledged Angola are a strong side who haven't been at their best
Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes has warned his side should not be underestimated ahead of their final Group A clash with Angola.
The competition's smallest nation have made waves in their first foray into the main draw, with stalemates against both hosts South Africa and Morocco in their opening two matches giving them a genuine chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds.
It could have been even better for Antunes' men, who took a shock lead against Morocco through Luis Platini in the 35th minute only for Youssef El Arabi to help the 1976 winners avoid a stunning upset.
Platini's strike was the first goal they had scored in the competition, however, and Antunes insists there is more to come.
"My team is not as weak as you guys think. We have won both home and away against some good teams in the past and even held Portugal to a draw away a few years ago. We are strong home and away and we've got some fantastic players," the coach told reporters.
"My players can play at Chelsea, Manchester United, Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona. They can go there."
But Antunes has also sounded a note of caution.
"You haven't seen the real Angola yet, they are a very strong side," he added.
Angola currently lie bottom of the group with just one point and must beat Cape Verde to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
They reached the quarter-finals in 2008 and 2010, but current captain Manucho has attributed their recent stagnation to a period of transition.
"We have a young side that is undergoing a rejuvenation process. Many of these young players are playing in the tournament for the first time, it is quite normal that they will stumble now and then," he told FIFA.com.
"I am sure this (tomorrow) will be a difficult match because Cape Verde has proven to be a good side," former Manchester United striker Manucho added.
Africa Cup of Nations Group A
Africa Cup of Nations Group B
Africa Cup of Nations Group C
Africa Cup of Nations Group D