Roberto Lopes turns in man of the match display to help Cape Verde to brink of AFCON knockout stages

A huge result for Cape Verde.

Shamrock Rovers defender Roberto ‘Pico’ Lopes played a starring role as Cape Verde all but secured their place in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Lopes, and his teammates, recorded a creditable 1-1 draw against hosts Cameroon, after falling a goal behind in the first-half; with Lopes earning a personal award for his performance.

While the Cape Verdeans finished third in their group, they are all but set to qualify from their group as one of the four best third-placed teams.

With a defeat, they did stand a stand a relatively slim chance of qualification, but a draw has all but sealed their spot in the last-16 of the competition.

Roberto Lopes helps Cape Verde to huge AFCON point.

Lopes, 29, has impressed throughout the Africa Cup of Nations, helping his side to a clean sheet in their opening day win against ten-man Ethiopia.

And while he was unable to help his side to a clean sheet, and point against Burkina Faso, Lopes stood tall against the hosts in a stiff test in their final group outing.

During the game itself, Lopes was rated as Cape Verde’s fourth-highest rated player thoughout the game by WhoScored.com.

Against the Cameroonians, Lopes won one aerial duel, and recorded a passing accuracy percentage of over 80% in the contest.

Roberto Lopes.

As mentioned, Lopes, and his teammates fell a goal behind in the first-half thanks to a Vincent Aboubakar opener in the 39th minute.

But the visitors would respond with a fine goal of their own, as Garry Rodrigues prodded home a second-half equaliser.

Cape Verde must now wait until Thursday to know their fate in full, but barring a calamitous turn of events, they stand a great chance of reaching the knockout stages in Cameroon.

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