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Afcon - Cape Verde out to continue giant-killing run

Cape Verde, the smallest country to ever reach the finals, shocked the continent with qualification.

FILE: The island nation, with a population of a little more than 500,000, have since improved their ranking. Picture: AFP.

BATA, Equatorial Guinea - Standing out as the upset package of the last African Cup of Nations finals, Cape Verde will open their bid for another giant-killing run when the first Group B games are played at Ebebiyin on Sunday.

Cape Verde, the smallest country to ever reach the finals, shocked the continent with qualification two years ago and then proceeded to prove it was no fluke by advancing to the quarter-finals in South Africa.

The island nation, with a population of a little more than 500,000, have since improved their ranking, impressed in World Cup qualification and romped through the latest Nations Cup preliminary rounds to reach a second successive finals.

They play Tunisia on Sunday just over a year after they upset the north Africans in a World Cup qualifier in Rades, only to have their bid for a place in Brazil snatched away when they were found to have fielded a suspended player.

The opening Group B match in the small town on Equatorial Guinea's eastern border with Cameroon will be between the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbours Zambia.

Zambia were Nations Cup winners three years ago when Equatorial Guinea co-hosted the tournament with Gabon.

This year's finals opened on Saturday with the host nation giving up a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Congo before Gabon moved top of the Group A standings after a 2-0 win over Burkina Faso in the second match of the day in Bata.

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