Ethiopia 0-1 Cape Verde - Tavares gives Blue Sharks winning Afcon start
Cape Verde
The Blue Sharks capitalised on their numerical advantage before the interval with a header from the Al Faisaly forward

Julio Tavares scored the goal that helped Cape Verde defeat 10-man Ethiopia 1-0 in the second Group A match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The game in Cameroon got off to a thrilling start at Olembe Stadium with both teams making an appearance on the Afcon stage for the first time since 2013.

It, however, turned sour for Ethiopia after Yared Baye was shown a straight red card in the 12th minute with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) changing an initial yellow card to red for a foul on Julio Tavares who was through on goal.

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The expulsion immediately led the Walias to make a substitution with Messoud Mohammed coming off for Mignot Debebe, three minutes later.

Shortly after, goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko was forced to make a crucial stop to deny Debebe from scoring an own goal in the 39th minute.

Despite playing with a man down, Wubetu Abate's men tried to cage Cape Verde but they were punished on the stroke of half-time after Garry Rodrigues poked the ball back for Tavares to head home.

After the restart, Cape Verde continued with their dominance with several attempts from Nuno Borges, Tavares and Kenny Rocha Santos but Ethiopia were not clinical enough as they had just an attempt on goal in the entire 90 minutes.

Later in the game, Ethiopia coach Abate opted to make five changes but the tactical switches could not help them end their 16-game winless run in the competition.

Following the win, Cape Verde move to second in Group A with three points behind Cameroon who defeated Burkina Faso 2-1 earlier at Olembe Stadium on Sunday.

Ethiopia sit at the bottom behind Burkina Faso who also have no point.

The Walias will face Cameroon for their next fixture on January 13 while Cape Verde are set to take on Burkina Faso later on Thursday.