The team has never qualified for FIFA World Cups but has qualified for three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, in 2013, 2015 and 2021. History Overview Cape Verde became independent from Portugal in 1975. The national team's first international was a 1–0 defeat to Guinea on 29 May 1978, in a tournament in Guinea-Bissau.  The Cape Verdean Football Federation was formed in 1982, and joined FIFA in 1986.  Cape Verdeans abroad, who are more numerous than the population of the islands themselves, are a major source of players for the national team.
Pulled from the fourth pot during the group stage drawing of the tournament, Cape Verde actually had the highest FIFA ranking of any team in their group at the time of the drawing, ranking at 51st overall, followed by Morocco (71st), South Africa (72nd) and Angola (83rd). Cape Verde also had the 10th highest FIFA ranking in the CAF zone at the time of the drawing as well. Cape Verde drew with South Africa 0–0 in the tournament's first match, before drawing with Morocco 1–1. Platini scored Cape Verde's first ever goal at the AFCON, who were unfortunate to let an early lead slip. They however did win their first ever AFCON match against Angola, which they won 2–1 (despite an early own goal by captain Nando Maria Neves), through the late goals from Fernando Varela and Héldon Ramos, thus qualifying for the quarter-finals, and thus reaching the last eight in their maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations.