Cameroon and Cape Verde — the two countries in the Africa Cup of Nations with players from the Philadelphia Union — picked up three points their opening games of the competition on Sunday.
Philadelphia Union right back Olivier Mbaizo did not dress for the hosts in their 2-1 win over Burkina Faso to officially kicked off the delayed 2021 edition of the competition held in Africa every two years.
Union midfielder Jamiro Monteiro started in the second game of the day for Cape Verde against Ethiopia. Monteiro was positioned on the left side of the front line in a 3-4-3 formation for the Sharks.
Playing in their first AFCON match since 2015, the Sharks were able to pressure Ethiopia early and play Julio Tavares in on goal in the 12th minute, forcing Yared Bayeh to make a last ditch tackle that was upgraded from yellow to red after video review.
Tavares headed home the game’s lone goal just before halftime off a cross from Garry Rodrigues. Monteiro played the long cross to Rodrigues to start the play from the left flank.
Monteiro finished with an 80 percent pass completion on the day (32/40), a pair of recoveries and two duels won while touching the ball 50 times in the match. He was subbed out in the 76th minute.
The win was just the second for Cape Verde in the competition and first since they beat Angola in 2013.
Four games are on tap tomorrow in the competition with Senegal vs Zimbabwe at 8 a.m., Guinea vs Malawi at 11 a.m., Morocco vs Ghana at 11 a.m. and Comoros vs Gabon and 2 p.m. EST.