Live Commentary: Cape Verde 0-0 Congo DR - as it happened

Live Commentary: Cape Verde 0-0 Congo DR - as it happened
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ReliveSports Mole's live commentary of Cape Verde's 0-0 draw with Congo DR in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Congo DR held Cape Verde to a goalless draw in their Africa Cup of Nations clash in Ebibiyin tonight.

The Islanders dominated the first half without earning a deserved lead, but Congo stemmed the tide of one-way traffic in a second half that looked to be petering out without any major chances.

However, Cape Verde spurned two glorious opportunities in the final stages of normal time to snatch victory, as goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba kept them at bay.

Below, relive the action with Sports Mole's play-by-play.


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6.32pmAh, hello and welcome to our live text commentary of Cape Verde's Africa Cup of Nations clash with Congo DR in Ebebiyin tonight. We've just finished our live coverage of Zambia's encounter with Tunisia, but there's no rest for the wicked (we're actually sound and wholesome) at Sports Mole as we now turn our attentions toward the second Group B game of the day.

6.34pmIt's been a pretty 'meh' tournament so far, because we've only had one game in the entire competition that has spawned more than three goals, but here's to hoping that Cape Verde and Congo DR throw up a very decent encounter this evening.

6.36pmAnywho, let's have a quick look at how both teams fared in their first Group B outing before we see how they line up tonight.

6.39pmWe'll start with Cape Verde and the Blue Sharks managed to hold Tunisia, one of the pre-tournament favourites, to a 1-1 draw in their Group B curtain raiser. This result was made all the more impressive by the fact that Tunisia took a 70th-minute lead through Mohamed Ali Moncer, but Heldon converted a penalty eight minutes later to win a point.

6.42pmIncidentally, that was Heldon's 13th international goal and, to contextualise Cape Verde's status, he's their all-time record goalscorer! They won four out of their six group games en route to qualifying. Not bad for a country with a population of 500,000, eh? Yep, the Islanders are certainly making waves. Did you sea what I did there?

6.45pmOn to Congo DR now and, like Cape Verde, they were also held to a 1-1 draw in their opener, with Crystal Palace man Yannick Bolasie salvaging a point for them against Zambia in a game where they could, and should, have won - by a decent margin, too. Coach Florent Ibenge will hopefully have put his players through a few shooting drills in training as they hunt what would be just a third AFCON victory in 17 years!

6.48pmYep, the Congolese Leopards have only won twice at the Africa Cup of Nations since coming third in the 1998 edition - a run that spans 18 games. They've lost eight and drawn eight of those, so you cannot fault their fans if they're a little pessimistic over this one.

6.50pmRight let's get cracking on some team news and see what's what, shall we?

6.50pmCAPE VERDE XI: Vozinha; Soares Tavares, Estaline Dias Barros, Varela, Dos Santos Tavares; Monteiro, Lima, Monteiro Macedo Babanco, Mendes da Graca; Tavares, Alves Miranda

6.50pmCONGO DR: Muteba; Issama Mpeko, Kimwaki, Mongongu, Kasusula; Mulumbu, Mbemba Mangulu, Mabidi, Cedrick; Bolasie, Mbokani Bezua

6.52pmOne or two notable inclusions and exclusions to mention. Premier League duo Youssouf Mulumbu and Yannick Bolasie line up for Congo DR, while there's no place in the first XI for Mr Heldon, the Sharks' all-time leading scorer.

6.54pmI fancy Bolasie for a big game today. He's been fantastic for Crystal Palace at times this season, and you have to believe that, against inferior opposition in this competition, he could dazzle. Indeed, he scored in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Zambia. He's got a huge role to play as the Congolese Leopards bid for a quarter-final place.

6.57pmPREDICTION! Surprisingly, I got my prediction for the Zambia - Tunisia game spot on, so I'm on a bit of a roll. I'll go for 1-0 Congo DR this time, with Bolasie scoring the only goal. Don't go rushing off to the bookies because historically I'm not very good at these predictions. Kickoff is approaching!

1 minKICKOFF! Aaaaaaaaaaaaand we are off in Ebebiyin once more, folks. Cape Verde get us underway. Let's go!

3 minInteresting to learn of Heldon's omission tonight. It is believed that he's not fully fit, but he is fit enough for a place on the bench so we might see him a little later because he is Cape Verde's key man.

5 minVery little action to report in the early stages of this one, with neither side really taking the game by the scruff of the neck as of yet. I expect a good game, though.

6 minSHOT!!! Just as I type that, Ryan Mendes threads a ball through for Carlos Tavares, whose first-time shot whistles narrowly over the bar from an angle. Promising for Cape Verde.

7 minWe've very nearly just seen arguably the most humiliating error of the competition thus far, as Cape Verde defender Fernando Varela heads back to his goalkeeper Josmiar Dias - problem is Dias wasn't there and he's had to sprint quite fast to prevent the ball from trickling over the line. Difficult to know who's fault that was, but it doesn't bode well.

9 minCLOSE! This is a fine free kick from Elvis Manuel Macedo, who takes aim from around 35 yards and curls just over the bar. Macedo would've been more famous than his namesake for a day or two had that found the net.

12 minCape Verde well and truly bossing this one so far, with Congo DR reduced to having very, very little of ball in this opening 12 minutes or so.

15 minWe've seen very little of danger man Yannick Bolasie so far; so much so that I'm not even sure if he has got a touch of the ball as of yet. Plenty of time, of course, but Cape Verde have done really well to keep him out of the game so far.

17 minFYI: one of the linesmen is wearing trainers. Is that allowed? Surely there's a spare pair of boots knocking around somewhere in the stadium?

20 minSome distressing scenes for Congo DR fans and indeed West Brom fans, as Youssouf Mulumbu is stretchered off the field after appearing to suffer a hamstring injury earlier in the clash. Shame.

22 minIt's very stop-start this one. Both teams like a foul, and both teams like a loose pass that goes out for a throw-in unfortunately. There's very little rhythm to it thus far.

26 minWe've seen our first glimpse of Bolasie at long last, and it's worth the wait as the Crystal Palace winger executes one or two step-overs before ghosting past his marker, but Barros gets across to thwart the jet-heeled Bolasie.

28 minSHOT! Good, strong run by the massive Julio Tavares, who brushes off a few challenges but, after working a shooting position for himself, scuffs his left-footed shot well wide. It wasn't the best; let's just say that.

31 minCHANCE! Probably the best chance of the game, and it's Cape Verde as Babanco whips a beautiful free kick into the box and Carlos Lima powers his header at goal, but it's comfortable for goalkeeper Muteba. Either side of him and it's a goal though.

35 min10 minutes until the break then and Cape Verde comfortably on top in this one, though it remains 0-0. We've seen nothing from Congo's forward line as of yet, including Bolasie who, despite one or two good moments, has been anonymous.

37 minBLOCK! This is a huge block from Joel Kimuaki as Miranda cuts inside and looks to bend a ball into the corner of the goal, but Kimuaki is on hand to avert the danger. Not going to lie; he looks a little fat for top-level football, a Sunday league player really, but he's not playing like one, which gives fat blokes like me hope that I can still play for my country. I'm better than Paul McShane to be fair.

40 minCLOSE! Cape Verde are head and shoulders above Congo DR so far, and they very nearly go ahead as Julio Tavares heads just wide from a corner.

42 minIt's not on easy pitch to play on so I don't envy these players. The Tunisia - Zambia clash earlier - which was played on the same pitch - was a feisty affair at times. In truth, it looks like somebody went around with a golf club and began intentionally taking divots out of the turf.

45 minTWO MINUTES ADDED ON:

45 + 2 minCHANCE! We've waited 45 minutes, but Bolasie finally gets into the game as he skips past a few players before taking aim from outside the box, but the keeper is equal to it.

7.47pmHALF TIME: CAPE VERDE 0-0 CONGO DR

7.50pmSo, we're goalless at the break in a largely uneventful first half. We've seen very, very little by way of chances for Congo DR, apart from Bolasie's effort late in the half, while Cape Verde haven't made the most of their chances. Congo, to their credit, have defended well at times to keep the scoreline down.

7.53pmIf you're considering leaving me then chew on this my friends: our last game, Tunisia's 2-1 win over Zambia earlier today, was also goalless at the break, but we saw plenty of drama after the interval in the form of three goals - including an 89th-minute winner. Like a soon-to-be zombie, this one could come to life at any moment. #wackanalogies

45 minRESTART! Alright so we're back in action in Ebebiyin, my friends. Congo DR, who need a big improvement from that first half, get us back underway.

49 minNot much to report in this opening four minutes other than it's been all Congo. Florent Ibenge must have delivered a decent enough team talk because his side have started really well, although Cape Verde have stood up well to everything that has come their way.

52 minCLOSE! It's taken 52 minutes but Congo DR have finally threatened an opener. Cedrick Mabwati capitalises on a moment of indecision from Ianique Tavares before lauching a ferocious strike at goal, but it curls just narrowly over the bar. Promising.

55 minCongo have to be very careful where they concede fouls, because they've just fouled Julio Tavares within perfect range for Babanco to whip in one of those delightful crosses of his, but the referee never awarded the free kick. Still, they need to be very careful.

59 minSUB: Heldon, Cape Verde's go-to-guy and all-time top scorer with 13 goals, has replaced Jailton Miranda for the last half hour or so. He goes straight over to take a corner....

60 minBut it comes to nothing as Heldon's delivery curls out for a goal kick even before it reaches the danger zone. Not an ideal way to start, eh?

63 minSUB: Congo DR make their first change as the ineffective Yannick Bolasie makes way for Bokila. The Crystal Palace winger never turned up today. One to forget for sure.

65 minThere's another free-kick opportunity now, but Babanco, whose delivery has been fantastic tonight, curls one straight out for a goal kick. That was a shocker, and the last thing you expected him to do by virtue of some pinpoint balls tonight.

68 minI'm going to go out on a limb and say this is going to end 0-0, ladies and gentlemen. I don't see where the breakthrough is going to come from. Both defences have been very much on top and, as it stands, there's very, very little between the sides. Of course, a point isn't a great result for either side, but especially for Congo, who face Group B leaders Tunisia in their final group outing. Hopefully we'll see things open up a little.

70 minRobert Kidibara is a lucky man, as the goalkeeper fumbles Ryan Mendes's bending cross, but he manages to retrieve it at the second attempt before Julio Tavares can snatch it.

72 minSHOT! I have to say that both defences have been brilliant in this second half, with neither side fashioning any clear chances, and here's another example as Lema drills a shot well over the bar from outside the box. Never troubling Cape Verde.

74 minI'll say this, though: if Congo DR do leave Ebebiyin with a victory, then Cedrick Mabwati will have played a big role in the win. He's been truly brilliant in this second half, very much the Leopards' go-to-guy in this half and he might boast the magic necessary to unlock this one.

78 minSUB: Platini, no relation to Michel I don't think, comes on for Julio Tavares for the final 12 minutes. He had a good game Tavares, but Cape Verde need someone to play on the shoulder of the last defender, rather than a target man, so let's see if Platini can have an impact.

80 minRight, 10 minutes left and it's growing increasingly difficult to see where a winner is going to come from, folks. Neither outfit boast much in the final third and I'd be surprised if either side ends up winning this.

82 minAs it stands, the Group B looks a little like this:
Tunsia - 4 points
Cape Verde - 2 points
Congo DR - 2 points
Zambia - 1 point

85 minCHANCE!!!! How has this stayed out? Congo DR keeper Kidiaba makes two point-blank saves to deny Varela and Rocha, with the ball being cleared before the latter could poke home the rebound. It was inches away from trickling over the line! Huge moment in the game.

88 minCHANCE!!! Oh no Cape Verde miss another good chance to snatch this victory, as second-half sub Heldon cuts inside Djos before striking left-footed, but Kidiaba is lightning quick out of his goal and saves with his chest. Two huge moments in recent minutes.

90 minTHREE MINUTES ADDED ON:

8.50pmFULL TIME: CAPE VERDE 0-0 CONGO DR

8.51pmWell, that's all she wrote, my friends. Cape Verde, despite being the better team, are held to a goalless draw. They could, and definitely should, have won it after missing a few wonderful chances in the final stages of normal time, but goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba kept his side in the clash - and possibly in the tournament. Anyways, thanks for joining our live text commentary and we'll see you tomorrow!

Niger goalie Kassali Daouda keeps the score at 0-0 against Congo on January 24, 2013
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