EBEBIYIN, Equatorial Guinea (Reuters) - Cape Verde, the smallest country to ever compete in the African Nations Cup, will seek to take a step towards the quarter-finals when they play the Democratic Republic of Congo in one of two Group B games on Thursday.
Tunisia and Zambia start the day’s proceedings at the 5,000-capacity stadium in the small border town in Equatorial Guinea.
The opening two matches between the protagonists both ended in 1-1 draws, leaving the chances of all wide open.
But Cape Verde, with a population of just over 500 000, will likely carry the most confidence after coming back against highly fancied Tunisia when they met in Ebebiyin on Sunday.
Coach Rui Aguas has described his Capeverdian side as a highly motivated “family unit” whose cohesion and unity gives them an advantage over more experienced opponents.
There was also a stout display of fortitude from the Congolese on the opening day as they fought their way back after conceding early to Zambia.
Zambia take on Tunisia without key midfielder Nathan Sinkala, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee injury.
It is a blow for a side who were muscled out of most of their last game and can expect a similar physical approach from Tunisia.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson; editing by Justin Palmer