Cape Verde are out to restore their pride when they host Burkina Faso today in their 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier at Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde In Praia.
The Blue Sharks will know the importance of this encounter as they come from a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Senegal in October.
The Group D encounter at home for Verde allows them to secure the full three points for them to move up the log table.
Coach Lucio Antunes’ men now find themselves under pressure to win as they sit at the bottom of the group with zero points and two goals conceded thus far.
However, beating the stubborn Stallions of Burkina will not come cheap as they are also coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw to South Africa at home last month.
Despite having two losses to Libya in the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers and Senegal in their previous two matches, they managed to bag a win against Sao Tome e Principe in the AFCON qualifiers.
The Blue Sharks will now hope to make history and reach the World Cup for the first time in their history and will also hope to find courage from the home crowd.
Shifting focus to the visiting Burkinabe, the Stallions are also under enormous pressure as they want to reach Russia for the world’s biggest football event.
Burkina are aware that they squandered a perfect opportunity to claim the full three points at home against Shakes Mashaba’s men.
Their 1-1 draw against the 1996 African champions has meant they must now go to Praia in search of their maiden win in the campaign.
Manager Paulo Duarte will have to work on the mentality of his charges as they will face a tough team at home and the crowds will not give his men a chance.
On the other hand, key men such as Jonathan Pitriopa and Banou Diawara, who scored against Bafana Bafana, will be expected to break their hosts defence to ensure they go home with a win.
As they sit at No 3 with one point, Duarte faces a daunting task to find a win in Praia as they also want to make their first appearance in the global football showpiece.