Following Cape Verde’s home-and-away wins over South Africa in the last FIFA international window, Orange County SC rookie Wuilito Fernandes has been called up to Cape Verde’s national team once again, as the island nation gets set to take on Senegal in a crucial Group D World Cup qualifier.
Cape Verde have two games left in the group, and currently sit in second place in the Group, one point ahead of Senegal and level on points with current group leader Burkina Faso. The practical effects are that Cape Verde need to win out in their final two games, against Senegal on Saturday in Praia, and then at Burkina Faso in November, and then they may still need help to win the group, but winning the group books the ticket to the 2018 World Cup, no playoff in Africa this qualifying cycle.
There is also the issue of a game already played in the group not involving Cape Verde, with FIFA overturning South Africa’s win over Burkina Faso at the start of this year and banning the referee for life for his role in literally awarding a victory to South Africa. The fixture is now scheduled to be replayed on Saturday, but there is a chance another appeal may issue some other ruling (such as a Burkina Faso forfeit win) in the meantime.
At any rate, Cape Verde can only control the items in front of them, so they’ll begin with the qualifier with Senegal. If they can beat them, their quest to reach the World Cup for the first time will remain on track, and Fernandes may once again play a role. Stay tuned.
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