Live Commentary: South Africa 0-0 Cape Verde - as it happened

Cape Verde's Babanco Macedo tussles with South Africa's Kagisho Dikgacoi in the African Nations Cup match on January 19, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report of hosts South Africa's 0-0 draw with Cape Verde in the opening match of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations got underway in Johannesburg on Saturday as hosts South Africa took on debutants Cape Verde.

While an exciting start to the tournament would have been hoped for, the two sides took part in a goalless draw that failed to inspire.

However, Cape Verde are sure to be far happier with their point than Bafana Bafana.

Read Sports Mole's minute-by-minute report below to find out how the action unfolded.


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3.02pmHello there and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the opening match of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as hosts South African take on debutants Cape Verde in in Soccer City, Johannesburg.

3.04pmWe're all sure to be dazzled by the flamboyance of African football in the next few weeks as 16 teams take part in the tournament.

3.06pmFor those who are unfamiliar with the AFCON, the 16 nations are divided into four groups of four with the top two teams making it through to the quarter-finals.

3.09pmThe final is due to take place on Sunday, February 10 (my birthday!) at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Put the date in your diaries!

3.12pmThe current holders of the competition are Zambia following their remarkable victory over Ivory Coast in last year's final. With the scores goalless after extra time, it took a penalty shootout to seperate the two sides and it was Arsenal forward Gervinho who missed the vital spot kick to give Zambia their first ever AFCON triumph.

3.15pmAnyway, let's take a look at the four groups in this year's edition of the tournament...

3.16pmGROUP A:

South Africa
Cape Verde
Angola
Morocco


3.17pmGROUP B:

Ghana
Mali
Niger
DR Congo


3.18pmGROUP C:

Zambia
Nigeria
Burkina Faso
Ethiopia


3.19pmGROUP D:

Ivory Coast
Tunisia
Algeria
Togo


3.21pmIf you were wondering why there is an Africa Cup of Nations this year when there was one only 12 months ago, well, it's because the organisers decided to change its staging from even to odd years. As you do.

3.23pmOh, and the host cities for this year's tournament are: Johannesburg, Durban, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg.

3.26pmRight, onto today's two teams. South Africa are making their first appearance at the AFCON since 2008 and, because they are hosting the tournament, they didn't need to qualify. Bafana Bafana's only previous triumph in the competition came in 1996 - the last time that the hosted the event.

3.29pmCape Verde are among the outsiders to win the tournament, but they are actually higher in the FIFA rankings that South Africa. While the hosts currently sit in 87th place, their opponents occupy 69th spot.

3.33pmIt's also the first time that Cape Verde have competed at the AFCON. They were forced to withdraw in 1996, but apart from that year they have never got past the qualification stage. You can't begrudge them their participation this time though - they saw off Cameroon 3-2 in qualifying to book their place among Africa's elite.

3.36pmBoth teams have been through their warm-up routines and it is absolutely hammering it down in Johannesburg. Could the rain play an important factor this afternoon?

3.37pmWe have some team news for you...

3.39pmSOUTH AFRICA: Khune; Ngcongca, Khumalo, Sangweni, Matlaba; Dikgacoi, Letsholonyane, Phala, Tshabalala; Majoro, Parker
Subs: Sandilands, Nthethe, Gaxa, Masilela, Chabangu, Mphela, Serero, Furman, Mahlangu, Manyisa, Meyiwa, Rantie

3.40pmThe hosts have made four changes in total with Bernard Parker and Michael Majoro starting in attack.

3.43pmCAPE VERDE: Vozinha; Carlitos, Fernando Varela, Nando, Nivaldo; Babanco, Soares, Platini, Toni Varela; Heldon, Mendes
Subs: Fredson Tavares, Rilly, Pecks, Guy Ramos, Lima, Gege, David Silva, Rony, Stenio, Ramilton Rosarip, Julio Tavares, Djaniny

3.45pmToday's referee is Djamel Haimoudi from Algeria.

3.49pmUnfortunately for the organisers the stadium is only half full, despite all 88,000 tickets having been sold. I think it's safe to say that the poor weather will have had something to do with that. Oh, and the vuvuzela's are back.

3.53pmSouth Africa president Jacob Zuma is currently shaking the hands of both sets of players and we're just a few minutes away from the AFCON 2013 getting underway.

3.55pmAnd here come the national anthems. Cape Verde are up first...

3.58pmNeedless to say, the South Africa anthem was sung with plenty of pride. That's really got the crowd really pumped as we get nearer towards kickoff.

0 minHere we go then, it'll be South Africa to get us underway in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

2 minPhala causes Cape Verde some early problems down the right and wins a free kic. Tshabalala's delivery is a good one, but Parker can only guide his weak header wide.

4 minIt's not the most frantic start to the match, I must admit, as Cape Verde get a fell of the ball. South Africa have definitely begun the game better, though.

6 minCape Verde are having some difficulty keeping possession at the moment. When they do get the ball, they're opting to hoof it upfield. However, those kind of tactics are bread and butter for the home defence.

8 minA moment of slight panic for the Cape Verde defence as Carlitos is nearly dispossessed by Majoro, but he recovers well to get the ball back.

10 minA bit of a coming together now between Soares and Letsholonyane. The Cape Verde midfielder was unhappy with his South Africa counterparts' robust attempts to gain possession, but it's something of nothing and play continues.

13 minCHANCE! Well, more of a half chance for the hosts as Tshabalala's 25-yard free kick is eventually gathered by goalkeeper Vozinha. The shotstopper didn't look to confident there though, needing two bites of the cherry to avert the danger.

15 minCHANCE! Big opening for Cape Verde there as Platini is played through on the left. He's about 12 yards from goal, only to drag his shot wide of the far post.

18 minCape Verde are certainly in this game now. They've take in by the scruff of the neck in these last five minutes or so and have grown in confidence.

20 minThe visitors have a corner out on the left and opt to play it short. It's eventually whipped in, but the South African defence clear the danger.

23 minIt's South Africa's turn to have a corner at the other end, only for Nivaldo to head the ball powerfully away. That's great defending from the athletic centre-back.

26 minThe game has become very scrappy in the last few minutes. Cape Verde wasted a free kick in a dangerous position before Heldon blasts another effort well over the crossbar. Both teams are struggling to keep hold of the ball at the moment.

29 minSouth Africa are awarded a free kick out on the left side following good work from Matlaba, but Phala's delivery is very poor indeed as the ball flies over the heads of everyone and out for a goal kick.

30 minCape Verde have had the better of possession in this opening half an hour with 55% of the ball. Nothing to show for it so far, though.

32 minSome unorthodox goalkeeper from Vozinha there as he comes out of his area to head the ball away from Khune's long punt upfield. The Cape Verde shotstopper then decided to go on a brief run before lumping the ball into the South African half.

33 minNot a bad opportunity for South Africa as Phala arrives at the back post to meet Tshabalala's free kick. However, the midfielder gets his timing all wrong and the ball bounces off hi shins and out for a goal kick.

36 minJust under 10 minutes of normal time left in this opening half and South Africa are starting to assert themselves a bit more. This has been a contest that has swung one way then the other, but not in the good meaning of that phrase.

39 minCape Verde threaten now as they piece together a counter attack involving Heldon, but his striker partner Mendes can only put in a poor cross that the African defence deals with easily.

42 minCape Verde win a corner...

44 minCHANCE! Nando gets his head to the corner and knocks it down for Mendes, who can only blaze over from a tight angle. A little bit more composure from the striker there and Cape Verde could have worked something.

45+1 minHALF TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 0-0 CAPE VERDE

4.50pmThe half-time whistle blows and it's not been the best start to this year's Africa Cup of Nations. There's been little imagination from both sides, with South Africa in particular resorting to long-ball tactics when they can.

4.55pmThe tournament hosts have looked nervous so far, while Cape Verde have played with slightly more freedom. That's not to say that the visitors have been dazzling - far from it - but they look the more likely to get on the scoresheet first.

4.58pmSouth Africa's best chance came in opening few minutes when Phala headed wide from Tshabalala's corner, while Cape Verde should have taken the lead but for Platini's wayward effort from 12 yards.

45 minRight, let's hope for a better second half as Cape Verde get us underway for the second half...

46 minSUBSTITUTION: South Africa have made a change at the break as Kagisha Dikgacoi comes off for Lerato Chabangu.

47 minThe referee has given about four free kicks in the opening few minutes of the second half. It's been that sort of performance from the Algerian official.

50 minChabangu get the crowd on their feet momentarily as he tries to execute an overhead kick from the edge of the box. He makes a connection, but the ball flies impotently out of play. Can that spark them into life?

50 minChabangu get the crowd on their feet momentarily as he tries to execute an overhead kick from the edge of the box. He makes a connection, but the ball flies impotently out of play. Can that spark them into life?

54 minSouth Africa look far more confident in the opening stages of this half. They're keeping possession a lot better and have a bit more attacking intent when they move into the final third.

57 minCHANCE! Another long ball from South Africa finds Majoro, who drifts into the Cape Verde penalty are. There's come confusion in the 18-yard box as the visitors struggle to get the ball away before Parker is brought down. However, there wasn't really anything in it and the appeals are waved away by the referee.

60 minBOOKING: Platini goes into the book for Cape Verde following a "coming together" with goalkeeper Khune. It's a soft one, to say the least.

61 minSUBSTITUTION: Another change for South Africa here as Thulani Serero replaces Siphiwe Tshabalala.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: Cape Verde make their first switch now as Platini comes off for Julio Tavares.

65 minSouth Africa coach Gordon Igesund is on the touchline trying to tell his players to keep the ball on the ground. So far they've done anything but.

67 minCape Verde have done a fair bit of pressing in the last few minutes, forcing two corners. However, they've been wasteful on both occasions as South Africa hang on. In fairness, this is a truly awful game of football.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: South Africa make their final change as Lehlohonolo Majoro is replaced by Katlego Mphela.

73 minCHANCE! Cape Verde nearly make the breakthrough as Heldon's diving header forces an improvised save from Khune. The ball looked to be creeping in at the far post, but the South African shotstopper was equal to it.

75 minSUBSTITUTION: Heldon is now off for Cape Verde as David Silva (not him) comes on.

78 minInto the last 15 minutes of normal time in Johannesburg and neither side looks like making the breakthrough. Is there someone from either team that has that little bit of magic to open the scoring.

80 minSouth Africa look like they want it a bit more at the moment. They've spent the last few minutes in the Cape Verde half, but their delivery from out wide has been poor all day and it's not getting any better.

83 minMatlaba looks to create something for the hosts with a winding run deep into opposition territory, only for the final ball to miss all of his teammates. The vuvuzelas have gone quiet.

85 minSUBSTITUTION: Ryan Mendes, who has had a relatively decent afternoon, comes off for Roni. Five minutes of normal time left to play.

88 minMphela tries his luck with a free kick around 35 yards from goal, but he blasts it high and wide. Surely a little chip into the box could have been more use there?

90 minWe'll have three minutes of added time. Can one of the teams find a goal?

90+2 minCHANCE! A late opportunity falls to Khumalo from a corner, only for the South African captain to put his header over the crossbar. He really should have done better there.

90+3 minFULL TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 0-0 CAPE VERDE

5.54pmThe full-time whistle goes and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations starts with a whimper as hosts South Africa draw 0-0 with Cape Verde.

5.55pmTo be brutally honest, that was a woeful game of football. Truly terrible. South Africa lacked invention, while debutants Cape Verde looked more than happy to pick up a point.

5.56pmAnyway, that's all from me for now, but you can join me again at 7pm when Angola take on Morocco in the second Group A encounter of the day. I can't promise a more exciting match than the one that has just taken place, but it would have to be unbelievably poor if it's any worse.

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund on the touchline during a friendly against Brazil on September 7, 2012
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