Matchday two of the Africa Cup of Nations group stages continues with a trio of matches on Friday, the headline fixture sees 2022 winners face 2017 champions in Yamoussoukro at 5pm (local time).
Africa Cup of Nations acca of the day
Cape Verde vs Mozambique
After both claimed famous results on matchday one, Group B’s two outsiders will be coming into this clash at Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny full of confidence.
Mozambique hold the unwanted record for most Africa Cup of Nations matched played without ever claiming a win, with this their fifth appearance at the tournament, after 1986, 1996, 1998 and 2010.
Thus, no one gave Chiquinho Conde’s side a prayer against Egypt on Sunday, especially when the record seven-times winners broke the deadlock were exactly 90 seconds on the clock.
However, against all odds, by the hour mark Os Mambas were 2-1 in front, with Witi equalising before, just a few seconds later, Clésio poked them in front.
Just as Mozambique looked set to secure one of the biggest upsets in AFCON history, deep into injury time, Domingos Macandza was penalised for a dubious foul, Egypt were awarded a penalty and salvage a draw.
Heartbreak for the minnows, but they did earn a point for their exploits, hoping to build on it here.
Cape Verde meantime sit top of Group B after one round of fixture, given that they did enjoy an historic win over a traditional heavyweight at the weekend.
The Blue Sharks beat Ghana 2-1 in Abidjan, taking the lead thanks to Jamiro Monteiro before, in the 92nd minute, Garry Rodrigues tapped home a dramatic winner, pouncing on some horrendous defending.
Despite their lack of name-recognition, Cape Verde do have some impressive pedigree at the Africa Cup of Nations, reaching the knockout stages on debut in 2013 and then again two years ago.
Never before however, have they won multiple matches at the same AFCON, and victory for Bubista’s team here would rubber stamp their ticket to the round of 16.
When these two last met three years ago, coming in a qualifier in Maputo, Cape Verde prevailed 1-0, with another victory for the Blue Sharks expected here.
Senegal vs Cameroon
The reigning African Champions take on the five-times winners of this competition, so will there be a winner in this heavyweight clash at Stade Charles Konan Banny?
Senegal began their title defence in some style on Monday afternoon, hammering The Gambia 3-0, with Pape Gueye breaking the deadlock after just four minutes, before 20 year old Lamine Camara scored twice.
Plenty is expected of the youngster, currently plying his trade at Metz, and he’s delivered so far.
The Lions of Téranga won their first-ever AFCON title two years ago, with many tipping Aliou Cissé's side to retain their trophy, although this’ll be a seriously litmus test of their credentials.
Cameroon meantime won their fifth Cup of Nations as recently as 2017, also finishing third as hosts in 2022, but almost no one expects Rigobert Song’s side to go all the way this time.
Les Lions Indomptables began this campaign with an underwhelming 1-1 draw against Guinea, in which Frank Magri’s header salvaged a draw against the ten-men.
Cameroon’s hopes of glory are seriously hampered by injuries, with both Bryan Mbeumo and Vincent Aboubakar sidelined, while it remains to be seen if goalkeeper André Onana will feature this time.
As recently as October, Senegal won 1-0 when these two teams met in a friendly at Stade Bollaert-Delelis in France, and the holders are favourites to win this clash in Yamoussoukro too.
Guinea vs The Gambia
Elsewhere in Group C, after the two juggernauts have left the field in Yamoussoukro, it’ll be the turn of the section’s two outsiders.
Of the pair, The Gambia certainly have more work to do, given that they were smashed 3-0 by Senegal in their matchday one fixture on Monday, the most one-sided game of the tournament to date.
Ebou Adams’ red card in first half stoppage time certainly didn’t help the Scorpions’ cause, but they were already behind at this stage and rarely got out of their own half.
Two years ago, as debutants, Tom Saintfiet’s team got all the way to the AFCON quarter-finals, beating Mauritania, Tunisia and a certain Guinea en route, before their fairytale was ended by hosts Cameroon.
This time round however, in a very tough group, The Gambia will do well to pick up any points at all.
Guinea meantime do have a point on the board, holding Cameroon to a 1-1 draw in their opener.
Mohamed Bayo breaking the deadlock after just ten minutes, slotting home after a chaotic, indescribable 15 second passage of play that has to be seen to be believed.
This represents a decent draw for the National Elephants, who’ve reached the knockout phase at six of the last seven AFCONs for which they’ve qualified, their sole group stage elimination this century coming in 2012.
Given that four best-ranked third-place teams advance, victory here would see Kaba Diawara’s team advance, although it’s a win they’ll be keen to claim, given that they face holders Senegal in their final group game.
As mentioned, the last time these two teams met was almost exactly two years ago in the round of 16 of the most-recent AFCON, with Gambia prevailing 1-0 that evening in Bafoussam.
This time, 1,349 miles west, Guinea should be too strong in this rematch at Stade Charles Konan Banny.