Saturday, January 14, 2012

Africa Cup of Nations - Group B - Angola

Colours: Red shirts with a yellow and black hoop / black shorts / red socks
Capital: Luanda
Population: 18,498,000

Angola's first ever game was a 1-0 victory over Cuba in 1977 and their first appearance in the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1996. On that ocassion they finished bottom of the group and they had to wait until 2006 before they got a victory in the finals of the tournament beating Togo 1-0. Their best showing in the tournament was in 2008 when they reached the quarter finals where they lost to eventual winners Egypt. They managed to equal this performance at the next time of asking in 2010 when they were hosting the tournament. This time though they lost 1-0 to Ghana.

In 2006 Angola reached the final stages of the World Cup for the first and so far only time. On reaching the finals they asked Jose Mourinho for advice, as his wife is Angolan. Perhaps it wasn't the best choice though, as their first opponents were Portugal, who they lost 1-0 to. They drew their next two matches, but didn't qualify from the group.

Star player: Flavio Amado

Flavio is coming towards the end of his career at Lierse Sk in Belgium, but his character and goal scoring ability will be essential to the team. He has spent most of his career in Egypt with Al Ahly. Things didn't get off as planned though missing a penalty against bitter enemies Zamalek in a African Champions League match. However, he won the fans over and found his scoring boots before joining Lierse this season. He also poses an aerial threat despite being only 5 foot 8.

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