Cape Town - DR Congo and Cape Verde will both be targeting their first win of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations when they clash in a Group B match at Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyin on Thursday.
DRC played to a credible 1-1 draw with 2012 AFCON champions Zambia in their opener, fighting back from the early concession of a goal to force a share of the spoils thanks to Yannick Bolasie’s equaliser.
The Crystal Palace winger is proving to be one of the hits of the 2015 tournament and is hoping to continue his good form when the Leopards face Cape Verde.
"Scoring is a part of my game that I want to add to," Bolasie told ESPN after the match against Zambia.
"Overall I'm a bit disappointed – we should have had the three points but we've got to recover quickly and go into the next game against Cape Verde."
The Blue Sharks also played to a 1-1 draw in their opener, recovering from a goal down to force a stalemate with North African heavyweights Tunisia.
Heldon scored the Islanders’ equaliser to become Cape Verde’s all-time top scorer with 13 goals, while captain Babanco became the first to play 50 times for the national team.
Yet these milestones will count for nothing if the Islanders fail to register a good result against DRC. Coach Rui Aguas has said the Leopards are “as strong as any other team in the group” and has hinted strongly that he will change either his personnel or formation – perhaps both – for the Thursday clash.
The teams have met just twice before – both encounters took place in the qualifying tournament for the 2006 World Cup. Cape Verde’s home game in Praia in July 2004 ended in a 1-1 draw, while the return match in Kinshasa in September 2005 saw DRC claim a 2-1 victory.
Kick-off is scheduled for 21:00 (SA time).