Ethiopia 0-1 Cape Verde: Julio Tavares fires Blue Sharks to opening AFCON win

Striker Julio Tavares headed home the winner as Cape Verde Islands shrugged off their Covid-19 woes to beat 10-man Ethiopia 1-0 on the opening day of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Tavares forced home a diving header after a superb cutback pass from Garry Rodrigues on the stroke of half-time at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde as the Cape Verdians joined hosts Cameroon on top of the Group A standings.

Cape Verde were forced to start the match without coach Bubista, in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus, and had just six substitutes on the bench, with a further nine players isolating, and two injured.

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But Ethiopia made their task easier when defender Yared Bayeh was sent off after 10 minutes.

Ethiopia's defender Yared Bayeh (2nd L) reacts while receiving a red card from the referee during the Group A Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ethiopia and Cape Verde at Stade d'Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. (Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Ethiopia defender Yared Bayeh is given his marching orders

He tripped Tavares from behind with the Cape Verde striker bearing down on goal and Angolan referee Helder Martins, having initially cautioned Bayeh, changed his mind after reviewing his decision on the pitchside VAR screen.

Ethiopia gamely fought on despite the disadvantage of being a man down, and looked to be taking a psychological boost into the break by managing to hold Cape Verde at bay, before Tavares’ brave finish from close range.

Julio Tavares
Julio Tavares is mobbed by his team-mates after heading Cape Verde into the lead against Ethiopia

Just minutes earlier, Ethiopia had a chance to be first on the scoresheet when Abubeker Nasir intercepted a poor back pass from Irish-born Roberto Lopes but goalkeeper Marcio Rosa, winning only his third cap, was quickly off his line to smother the opportunity.


Title: Ethiopia 0-1 Cape Verde: Julio Tavares fires Blue Sharks to opening AFCON win
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Published Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2022 21:30:00 GMT

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