Crew’s Steven Moreira shined in Cape Verde AFCON opener

Cape Verde, with Steven Moreira, kicked off their tournament with a bang, upsetting one of the tournament favorites, Ghana.
Ghana v Cape Verde - Africa Cup of Nations
Ghana v Cape Verde - Africa Cup of Nations / Anadolu/GettyImages

Cape Verde, a nation with a population of fewer than 600,000, has just scored in injury time to defeat four-time champions Ghana 2-1 in their opening match. Of course, Steven Moreira played the full 90 minutes, contributing to his country's position at the top of Group B.

Garry Rodrigues capitalized on a defensive mix-up, tapping the ball into an empty net in the 92nd minute. Prior to this, Jamiro Monteiro had given the islanders the lead, and although Ghana had a goal disallowed for offside before halftime, Alexander Djiku managed to equalize with a stooping header. Despite Ghana's efforts, Rodrigues seized the opportunity, scoring in the 92nd minute to secure the win.

The Crew’s defender of the year played really well, and was heavily involved in both the attack and of course defensively. Playing as the right back, the 29-year-old international created two chances, seven passes into the final third, four recoveries, seven duels won, 88 percent pass success rate, and picking up a healthy 7.5 rating courtesy of FotMob. It was a good day at work for the MLS Cup winner.

Moreira’s Cape Verde will turn their attention to Mozambique as they face them in their second group match on Friday, January 19th at 9 am EST. Mozambique has also nearly caused an upset of their own, drawing against Egypt, who were awarded a penalty in the dying moments. Mohamed Salah's efforts forced them to share the points, proving that Mozambique is no pushover.