Roberto Lopes to face Sadio Mane.
Roberto ‘Pico’ Lopes faces the unenviable task of keeping Sadio Mane quiet after Cape Verde’s Africa Cup of Nations last 16 opponents were confirmed.
The Dubliner and his teammates from the island nation have qualified for the knockout stages after finishing third in Group B, behind hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso.
Roberto Lopes impressing at AFCON.
After Senegal finished top of Group A, it now means that Liverpool forward Mane will be looking to send Cape Verde home when the two nations meet on Tuesday.
Shamrock Rovers defender Lopes, who qualifies to play for Cape Verde through his father, has been in fine form throughout the tournament and even picked up the Man of the Match award during Monday’s creditable 1-1 draw with Cameroon.
Previous to that, the 29-year-old also impressed during his sides’ 1-0 win over Ethiopia and 1-0 defeat to Burkina Faso, contributing to a satisfactory return of just two goals conceded in three group matches.
Sadio Mane and Senegal.
Pico will need to be on his game on Tuesday though against the star-studded Senegalese, for whom Mane is seen as a talisman.
Like Cape Verde, their passage to the last 16 has been built on a strong defence as they kept three clean sheets out of three in their group.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy missed the 1-0 win over Zimbabwe and the 0-0 draw with Guinea after positive Covid case but was back in the side for Tuesday’s game against Malawi which finished in another scoreless stalemate.
Where to watch it.
Aside from that, Senegal’s lack of goals should provide Cape Verde with some encouragement, with an injury-time penalty from Mane against Zimbabwe being their only goal in the tournament so far.
Other confirmed knockout ties include Burkina Faso v Gabon and Morocco v Malawi, with Sky Sports’ live coverage of every game set to continue until the final on February 6th.
You’ll be able to catch Cape Verde v Senegal on Tuesday January 25th, with the game kicking off at 4pm.