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Lusophone Countries - First Time Their Teams Have Qualified in Big Numbers
 In addition to the high-quality football that has been on display at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023, the competition has also been characterized by major upsets, with the playing levels being levelled by the quality of all teams. 
Teams that will partake in the knockout stages of the competition have officially confirmed, with 16 strong nations ready to battle it out for Africa’s most prestigious title of being crowned African champions. 
Among the 16 nations, three will represent the Lusophone nations after exceptional performances that see them go into the knockout stages without the “underdogs” tag that was placed on them ahead of the start of the competition.
CAFOnline takes a look at their impressive journeys into the knockout stages, after two of the four finished top of their groups. 
  • Finished top of Group D with seven points
  • Third appearance in the knockout stages of the competition
  • Scored six goals and conceded three enroute to the knockout stages
Drawn in a dicey Group D that consisted of Algeria, Burkina Faso and the unpredictable Mauritania, Angola finished top of Group D after standing their ground against 2019 champions Algeria in the opening fixture with a 1-1 draw followed by arguably the most entertaining fixture of the group stage that went 3-2 in their favour against Mauritania. 
Against the 2013 silver-medalists Burkina Faso, Angola stunned the Stallions to a 2-0 victory to seal their place in the knockout stages for the third time in nine appearances. 
They face Namibia in the round of 16 on Saturday, 27 January at 17h00 GMT. 
  • Finished top of Group B with seven points.
  • Stunned one of the tournament favourites, Ghana in their opening fixture.
  • Third appearance in the knockout stages of the competition
Making their fourth TotalEnergies CAF AFCON appearance since their 2013 debut, Cape Verde produced one of the tournament’s most stand out upsets when they sent shockwaves across the continent with a 2-1 win over Ghana in their opening Group B fixture. 
They kept the same form against fellow Lusophone nation Mozambique with a 3-0 thumping before closing it off in style with an action packed 2-2 draw against Egypt in their last round of the group stages.  
The Blue Sharks will appear in the round of 16 for the third time in four appearances and will be looking at making it out for the very first time. Interestingly, the fixture is against the same Egypt that they held to a draw in the last Group B fixture. 

Note* Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique were the other two Lusophone nations in the competition and have been eliminated.  

Tags:Lusophone Countries - First Time Their Teams Have Qualified in Big Numbers
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