Philadelphia Union star midfielder Jamiro Monteiro played 90 minutes in Cape Verde’s 1-0 loss to Burkina Faso while teammate Olivier Mbaizo dressed but didn’t play for Cameroon in a 4-1 win over Ethiopia in Group A play at the Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday.
After not making the match day roster in their opening day 2-1 win over Burkina Faso, Mbaizo was an unused substitute for the Indomitable Lions, which overcame an early 1-0 deficit for the second straight match with a quick equalizer and three second half matches to win 4-1 and book a spot in the Round of 16. Karl Toko Ekambi and Vincent Aboubakar each had a brace in the match. Aboubakar now leads all goal scorers in the competition with four.
Burkina Faso took a lead just before halftime over the Blue Sharks with a goal from Hassane Bandé in the 39th minute off a cross from Issa Kaboré that they were able to get to hold up as a winner despite multiple chances for Cape Verde to even the score.
Monteiro was involved in three decent chances for Cape Verde on the day. The first two came in the first half five minutes apart.
Monteiro went for goal on a free kick but his shot was high in the 25th minute and five minutes later he was able to win a header with an acrobatic move and head the ball to Júlio Tavares on the run in front of goal. Taveras’ shot was pushed wide by Burkina Faso goalkeeper Hervé Koffi to keep the game scoreless.
Six minutes after halftime, Monteiro received the ball in the box after a bad giveaway from Burkina Faso near midfield and lobbed a ball to Garry Rodrigues but Olympiacos attacker wasn’t able to get a clean enough shot on the ball to threaten the keeper.
Monteiro finished the game with 56 touches, 82.9% pass completion, 2 key passes, 1 shot, 2 tackles, 1 interception and 1 cross, according to data posted on WhoScored.com.
Group A play wraps up on Monday with Cameroon playing Cape Verde and Burkina Faso playing Ethiopia. Both matches kick off at 11 a.m.