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Profiling the AFCON teams: Angola

Angola will be featuring at their 8th AFCON tournament. (PHOTOS/AGENCIES)

Angola will be featuring in their 8th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament and the first since 2013. The Giant Sable Antelopes’ best finish at the finals was reaching the quarter finals in both 2008 and 2010.

In the 2019 edition, Angola is in Group E alongside Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania.

Angola did not enter into qualification for the first 12 AFCON editions between 1957 and 1980.

Their first participation in the qualifiers came in 1982 and it ended in disappointment as Angola failed to reach the finals’ tournament, the same outcome as in the next edition in 1984.

After two failed attempts, Angola did not take part in the qualifiers for Egypt 86.

They returned for the qualifiers of the 1988 edition but once again failed to reach the finals’ tournament. This was the same case in 1990, 1992 and 1994.

In 1996, Angola reached their first AFCON tournament which was held in South Africa. At the tournament, Angola managed only a single point in their Group (A), drawing 3-3 with Cameroon. The other two games saw the Giant Sable Antelopes lose 1-2 to Egypt and 0-1 to South Africa.

Angola would return for the 1998 edition in Burkina Faso but once again failed to exit the group. After two draws with South Africa and Namibia, Angola lost their last Group C game 2-4 to Ivory Coast to finish third in the group.

In the next three editions between 2000 and 2004, Angola attempted but failed to qualify for the AFCON finals.

They returned to the finals in 2006 but once again failed to get past the group stages. At the finals, they were placed in Group B alongside Cameroon, DR Congo and Togo. Angola drew 0-0 with DR Congo in their opening match, defeated Togo 3-2 before losing 3-1 to Cameroon and in the process finished third with 4 points.

For both the 2008 and 2010 editions, Angola reached the knock out stages for the first and second time respectively.

Angola reached the quarter finals of both the 2008 and 2010 AFCON tournaments.

For 2008, they finished second in Group D which featured the likes of Tunisia, Senegal and South Africa. At the quarter final stages, they lost 2-1 to eventual winners Egypt.

In 2010, they were placed in Group A alongside Algeria, Mali and Malawi. They finished as group leaders having drawn two and won one of their three games. In the last 8, they lost 0-1 to Ghana, once again exiting the competition at that stage.

Angola continued their routine qualification through to 2012 and 2013 but on both occasions, exited the competition at the group stage.

For both the 2015 and 2017 editions, the Giant Sable Antelopes attempted but failed to qualify for the respective finals’ tournaments.

Coach

Srdan Vasiljevic

Vasiljević is a 46-year-old Serbian coach who has been manager of Angola since 2017.

Vasiljevic has been Angola’s head coach since 2017.

He came through the youth system of Red Star Belgrade and went on to play for Radnicki Beograd, Borac Cacak (twice), Obilic, Rad and Sartid Smederevo, before moving abroad. In early 2001, Vasiljević signed with Romanian club Dinamo Bucuresti. He then joined Kazakhstan Premier League side Kairat in 2002, appearing in nine championship games that year. Vasiljević also made two appearances in the 2002/13 UEFA Cup.

After hanging up his boots, Vasiljević managed Serbian clubs Javor Ivanjicaa (twice), Cukaricki and BSK Borca. He also served as assistant manager to Vladimir Petrovic and Radonvan Curcic with the Serbia national team. In December 2017, Vasiljević was appointed manager of Angola.

Star Player

Mateus Galiano da Costa

Mateus is a 34-year-old forward who features for Portuguese side Boavista FC.

He started playing professionally for modest Portuguese teams (he had a stint with Sporting CP, but never moved past their reserves), he signed in January 2006 with Gil Vicente FC of the Primera Liga scoring on his debut.

However, Mateus was at the centre of a judicial controversy that erupted in Portuguese football, known as Caso Mateus (Mateus Affair), after a supposedly illegal registration by the Barcelos club. Following a lengthy judicial battle between Gil and C.F os Belenenses, the former were relegated.

After an uneventful season with Gil Vicente in the second division, greatly delayed by the legal consequences, Mateus joined Boavista FC for the 2007/08. His new team was also eventually relegated, due to irregularities.

In 2008/09, Mateus moved to Madeira’s C.D National, being an important attacking element – whether as starter or from the bench– as they eventually qualified for the UEFA Europa League. He continued to be regularly played for the better part of the following years, notably netting nine goals in 24 matches in the 2011/12 season.

Between 2014 and 2017, Mateus played for Premere de Agusto and Arouca before returning to Boavista for the start of the 2017/18 season.

For Angola, Mateus has played 57 games, scoring 12 goals since making his debut in 2016.

Mateus has scored 12 goals for Angola.

Projection: Group Stage

Angola’s fixtures at AFCON 2019

-Angola vs Tunisia, 24nd June
-Mauritania vs Angola, 29th June
-Angola vs Mali, 02th July

Angola’s 23-man squad for AFCON 2019

Goalkeepers: Toni Cabaça (1º de Agosto), Landu (Interclube), Ndulu (Desportivo da Huíla).

Defenders: Isaac, Dani Massunguna, Paizo (1º de Agosto), Edy Afonso (Petro de Luanda), Wilson (Petro de Luanda), Bastos (Lazio), Jonathan Buatu (Rio Ave), Bruno Gaspar (Sporting de Portugal).

Midfielders: Herenilson (Petro de Luanda), Show, Macaia (1º de Agosto), Stélvio Cruz (F91 Dudelange), Djalma Campos, Freddy (Antalyaspor), Geraldo (Al Ahly).

Forwards: Mabululo (1º de Agosto), Mateus Galiano (Boavista), Wilson Eduardo (Sporting de Braga), Gelson Dala (Rio Ave/Sporting de Porutgal), Evandro Brandão (Leixões).

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