Philadelphia Union defender Olivier Mbaizo made his Africa Cup of Nations debut, coming on as a sub in the 87th minute for Cameroon to see out their 1-1 draw with Cape Verde and his Union teammate Jamiro Monteiro.
The draw positions the Blue Sharks to make the Round of 16 even after finishing third in Group A behind Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso has 3 goals for to Cape Verde’s 2). The top four third place teams advance to the Round of 16 along with the six group winners and second place finishers.
Monteiro made his third straight start in the match for Cape Verde and put in a 77-minute shift. He was deployed more centrally in the match after playing mostly down the left flank in the first two matches. He finished the day with 46 touches, 70.8% pass completion (17/24), 1 shot, 3 tackles, 1 interception, 1 blocked shot and 3 crosses, according to Whoscored data.
Mbaizo’s debut came in the 87th minute when he replaced Collins Fai, who picked up a yellow card just before halftime. He had a bid for a winner when the ball fellow to him off a corner kick and his shot appeared to be headed on target when it was deflected by a Cape Verde just before reaching the goal. He had the 1 shot and completed his only pass of the day (a cross) in his short cameo.
Cameroon took the lead in the first half through Vincent Aboubakar’s fifth of the tournament in the 39th minute. Cape Verde equalized just after halftime through substitute Garry Rodrigues.
Both Group B and Group C will play their final group matches tomorrow with kickoff times at 11 a.m. (Malawi vs Senegal and Zimbabwe vs Guinea) and 2 p.m. (Gabon vs Morocco and Ghana vs Comoros).