Posted: Sunday February 3, 2013 6:19 AM

Cape Verde bows out of African Cup on a high

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PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa (AP) -Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes rated his team among the top three at the African Cup of Nations and alongside title contenders Ghana and Ivory Coast as the overachieving debutant prepared to head home from a proud first appearance at a major tournament.

Antunes said the African Cup would now "lose some shine'' with the exit of his Cape Verdeans following Ghana's 2-0 win in their quarterfinal in Port Elizabeth.

The part-time coach led the small country's team to the last eight and lifted its profile from an unknown to a favorite with many fans.

Antunes said "Cape Verde is as good as any of the big teams in this tournament. A lot of people ... are crying now that Cape Verde is out of the tournament.''
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