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Clinical Cape Verde seize second place in 2023 AFCONQ Group B with victory over Togo

Goals from Júlio Tavares and Jamiro Monteiro lifted Cape Verde to a 2-0 shutout against a wasteful Togo side in Group B play in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on Tuesday in Marrakech, Morocco. The Blue Sharks bounce back from an opening match defeat against Burkina Faso to leap past Togo and Eswatini into second place with three points from two games while Togo’s miserable week is completed following a disappointing home draw to Eswatini.

Togo’s loss of focus cost them at home earlier in the week and once again disaster struck the Sparrow Hawks, this time early on in the match. In the 10th minute a clearing header from Cape Verde center back Roberto Lopes was inadvertently flicked by a Togolese player behind his own defense and Blue Sharks striker Tavares seized upon the error. Taveres held off Togo center back Kennedy Mensah before finishing past keeper Malcolm Barcola to put his side up.

The visitors had the better of the remainder of the first half as Togo pushed for a leveler. Forward Euloge Placca had a couple of looks but failed to find the target soon after the opening goal and then later on when he had room to line up a shot from outside the penalty area in the 34th minute. Togolese talismanic striker Kodjo Laba was picked out at the far post by a 40th minute cross from Marouf Tchakei on the right wing but could not direct his close range header on target.

The theme of poor finishing continued for the Togolese, who could only put one of their twelve shots on target. Center back captain Dakonam Djené rose up to meet a corner kick but failed to put his header on target after Cape Verde keeper Sixten Mohlin came out and missed his attempt to make a play on the ball. In second half stoppage time it was Cape Verde who put the match away with an excellent goal when Tavares received a ball from midfield and smoothly turned past Djené before crossing to find Monteiro for a first-time finish past Barcola.

Highlights of the match are below.

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