Port Elizabeth – Cape Verde Islands coach Lúcio Antunes says the best team in the tournament are going home.
Antunes was referring to his side that fell to a 2-0 loss at the hands of African powerhouses Ghana in their Africa Cup of Nations match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The Islanders dominated large parts of the encounter, and the game changed just after the break when Ghana were awarded a controversial penalty and The Black Stars never looked back.
Cape Verde threw every player forward in desperate search of an equaliser and were caught out on the break, handing Ghana their second goal.
“Today we watched a beautiful game of soccer, unfortunately the best team is going home tomorrow so the tournament is going to lose a little bit of shine,” said Antunes after the game.
Antunes went on to question the match officiating.
“Today was our fourth game of the tournament, never were there questions of the first, second and third. Now the questions come.”
Antunes sarcastically said nobody would want to watch Cape Verde in the last four and that is why the Ghanians were going through.
“Although the score was 2-0 Cape Verde really did put Ghana under pressure, especially in the second half they had a lot of stress. Do you think this result is fair?
“The result is fair because Ghana win the match. I don't think there would be very big interest for the tournament if Cape Verde for example was to play with Togo in front of maybe 200 spectators. It is important for the tournament that Ghana stays on to the semi-finals.”
The coach questioned the objectivity of the referee, and also the selection of the officials.
According to Antunes, even local South Africans would be disappointed that Cape Verde was eliminated.
“Cape Verde is the best team of this tournament, and there are lots of South Africans even crying that Cape Verde is out of this tournament. “The positives that I'm taking from this is that Cape Verde is not worse than any of the other teams, in fact Cape Verde is as good as any of the big teams here.” – Sapa