Angola the draw specialists

Angola’s Nations Cup pedigree has only been developed in recent years, but that should stand them in good stead in South Africa. Their best finals performances, reaching the quarter-finals, have come in 2008 and 2010.

 

Since the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the form of Sable Antelopes has been quite patchy. They have been draw specialists, winning one, losing one and drawing five times in 2012.

One player they can always look to for goals, however, is Real Valladolid striker Manucho, who is a proven goal scorer at international level. The 29-year-old made his debut for Palancas Negras in 2006 and will thus also bring experience to the Angolan side in South Africa.

Manucho starred in his first Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2008, netting four times in four games, including a brace against Senegal, Angola's only goal in a 1-1 draw with South Africa, and his side's only goal in a 2-1 quarterfinal loss to eventual champions Egypt.

On home soil in 2010, he netted twice and added another two goals in the 2012 competition; this is a man who has delivered in past Afcon finals.

Manucho will be aided by the 32 year old Flavio. Flavio is one of the most experienced of Angola's players, but last played for the national team in the 2012 Afcon finals. Should he be selected - and coaches tend to value experience in big tournaments - he will give the Sable Antelopes another good goal scorer.

Gilberto lends stability to the Angolan midfield. At the age of 17, he first played for the national team in 1999. Fellow midfielder André Macanga, fours years older than Gilberto at 34, also made his debut in 1999. He brings further experience to the engine room of the team.

The 2013 tournament squares the circle for Angola as they actually did not make a Cup of Nations finals until South Africa in 1996. On their debut they finished bottom of a group that included South Africa and will do well to avoid the same fate again.


 

 

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