_65491344_65491342Ghana – Cape Verde Preview: Black Stars and Blue Sharks set to battle for semi-finals first slot
Fireworks expected in this west Africa derby as both sides race to pick the first semi-final place in the 2013 Afcon.

Ghana face off with Cape Verde in a 2013 Afcon quarter-finals fixture that could either bring a disappointing conclusion to the former’s title quest or a shattering anti-climax to the latter’s fairytale cruise that began with elimination of mighty Cameroon during the qualifiers last year.

While the Blue Sharks trumping giants like Morocco and Angola to emerge second in Group A proved a surprise, the Black Stars quite expectedly topped their own pile and could have thought themselves justly rewarded with a date against the unfashionable Islanders – arguably the least fancied side of the lot – but only if they had been oblivious of their opponents’ giant-killing reputation.

Cape Verde, courtesy a string of fine results in recent competitive matches, could be considered as anything but easy prey, having come so far in their maiden campaign and claiming some significant scalps along the way, and that of the four-time African champions is one they certainly would love to add to their ever-expanding collection of souvenirs as they look to achieve some more.

That would, however, be their toughest ask yet, and perhaps one challenge too much for the debutants to attempt. Nevertheless, this is African football, after all, where surreal events difficult to foretell – like Zambia conquering the continent in 2012 – happen on occasion and surely none could rightly begrudge the Blue Sharks the right to dare. The two west African nations have a history of only three previous meetings, two of which were played out in the form of World Cup qualifiers ahead of Germany 2006, and the remainder a pre-Afcon 2013 friendly in Portugal. Each time, Ghana triumphed, with an aggregate of seven goals scored and none conceded.

Neither side is expected to alter its composition much, going into this game. Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes would be counting on the likes of Ryan Mendes, Heldon Ramos, Djaniny and skipper Nando Neves to provide much-needed inspiration while, for the Ghanaians, hardly any changes are foreseen with regards to the team that beat Niger handsomely in the last group game, bar the probable return from injury-cum-suspension of set-piece specialist Mubarak Wakaso. Goal.com

AFCON 2013: Ghana v C. Verde, Bafana v Mali

Ghana vs. Cape Verde Kick-off: 15:00 GMTBafana v Mali Kick-off: 18:30 GMT

Storified by Indepth Africa· Sat, Feb 02 2013 03:53:41

Ghana go into their quarter-final tie as firm favourites, but are wary of a Cape Verde side who have upset the odds at their debut tournament.
AFCON 2013: Ghana v Cape Verde Preview http://indepthafrica.com/afcon-2013-ghana-v-cape-verde-preview/#.UQuO3N739ZY.twitterIndepth Africa
AFCON 2013: Ghana v C. Verde, Bafana v Mali http://sfy.co/r0wY #storifyIndepth Africa
Cape Verde won’t be struck by Ghana’s stars – Football Videosportsvideos111
Africa Cup 2013 IMG_1630Kristalllicht
Ghana 3-0 Niger -All Goals – Can 2013themassaoui
Ghana will win Cape Verde by 2 goal to nil.Willem Aburabura
Ghana vs Mali 2013 Highlights Africa Cup of Nations 1-0 Mubarak Penalty Videogoalhdgoal1
Ghana should destroy Cape Verde today , tho their most of their players are fresh!! Annalisa
Cape Verde vs Angola 2-1 All Goals & Full Match Highlights – Africa Cup of Nations (27/01/2013)ghanaafcon2013
Hmmm RT @OtiAdjei: No change in Ghana line up from Niger game which means Atsu retains his place ahead of Wakaso for Cape Verde game. Josh Ampadu
Morocco vs Cape Verde 1-1 All Goals & HighLights 23.01.2013 Full HDligahdbut
2013 Africa Cup of Nations – Mountain to climb for Cape Verde http://www.mtnfootball.com/africa/african-tournaments/african-cup-of-nations/match-centres/2013-african-cup-of-nations/preview/feb/02-ghana-v-cape-verde.html via @mtnfootballNeil Greig
Nigeria vs. Cape Verde Pre-AFCON 2013lite10
I am for the Black Stars of Ghana. GO GYAN…BABY JETABERNARDO ACQUAH
Cape Verde 2-0 Cameroon: 2013 African Cup of Nationsnchindaen
Ghana skipper Gyan has hit the right notes leading up to today’s AFCON quarterfinal against Cape Verde at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.Nigeria Newsdesk
Blacks Stars Cautious Of Giant-Killers, Cape Verde http://dlvr.it/2tbrwGJeffrey Owusu-Mensah
Gh. v Cape Verde, Trashing or an Upset?Odoi julius (O.J)
RT @Mecedonia3Santa: I support Cape Verde to beat Ghana today,#AFCON2013 #AFCONBafana Supporters™
RT @mhastings1981: Cape Verde need to beat Ghana today, come home! @Asabob20 #afcon #juveBafana Supporters™
Ghana Vs Congo DR 2-2 ALL GOALS 20/01/2013thefootballvideos2
AFCON outsiders Cape Verde are 10/1 to knock #Ghana out on #penalties and progress to the semi finals #ThisIsAfrica http://www.expekt.com/en/sports/event/african-cup-of-nations/ghana—cape-verde/7209086/Expekt.com
Ghana will win Cape Verde by 2 goal to nil.Willem Aburabura
RT @TEAM_GHANA: Who thinks the #Blackstars are going to win against Cape Verde in todays match & qualify to the top 4? #AFCONBafana Supporters™