11 April 2019

Angola: Palanquinhas Hoping to Make Impact On Fourth Attempt

Nicknamed Palanquinhas, Angola will represent Southern African region at the finals in Tanzania.

To book their ticket for Tanzania, Angola were crowned champions of the zonal qualifier held in Mauritius, beating South Africa by 1-0 in the final, to finish off a superb campaign which saw them concede once in as many matches. The highlight of their campaign was a 7-0 against Namibia is the semis.

In the group stage, Angola beat Malawi 1-0. Eswatini was the next in line, with the Angolans winning 4-0, before ending rounding up with a 2-1 win over Zimbabwe.

As part of preparations, 'Palanquinhas' held a training camp in Pretoria under the watch of Portuguese trainer Pedro Gonçalves, until April 11 when they depart for Tanzania, where they are housed in Group a with the host nation, Nigeria and Uganda.

Angola also took part in the UEFA Assist Invitational tourney in Antalya, Turkey last March, which featured the other seven finalists, European trio - Belarus, Montenegro and Turkey, as well as Australia.

"We have three strong teams to play against which we had a look at in Turkey and obviously they also observed our team. We believe that we can progress out of the group stage and qualify to the world cup bearing in mind that in the three previous U-17 AFCONs, Angola never went pass the group stage," said Gonçalves.

This is going to be the fourth presence after Botswana in 1997, Guinea 1999 and Gabon 2017, exiting at the group stage on all occasions.

At the zonal championships, Oswaldo Capemba topped the scorers chart with four goals while Zito Luvumbo was named player of the tournament. Luvumbo recently had a trial with English giants Manchester United, and is awaiting a deal from Old Trafford.

"It's an honour and big responsibility to represent my country at such a tournament. We going to fight hoping to clinch this title too," Luvumbo observed.

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