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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
LuaLua happy after busy weekend
Lomana LuaLua
LuaLua has scored just two goals for Portsmouth this season

DR Congo captain Lomana LuaLua is hoping that a busy weekend of matches could signal better times ahead.

The striker helped in Portsmouth's 2-1 defeat of Liverpool in the English Premiership on Saturday.

LuaLua dashed to Kinshasa a day later to score his country's 2-0 win over Ethiopia in an outstanding Nations Cup qualifier.

The 26-year-old has scored only two goals for his club in the past year and has spent long spells on the treatment table.

"It has been a bad year for me really," LuaLua told BBC Sport.

"Hopefully what I did this weekend will mark a fresh start for me."

Sunday's victory kept the Leopards on course for a ninth consecutive appearance at the Nations Cup to be hosted by Ghana next year.

Mputu Mbungu gave them the 25th-minute lead before Lualua shook off the effects of an overnight flight to convert a penalty late in the game.

The Group Ten victory lifted two-time African champions to seven points, three more than Libya with Namibia and Ethiopia a further point behind.

Despite the convincing win, LuaLua says the Ethiopians gave a good account of themselves.

"Every African team is getting better and better as we say our opponents played," LuaLua said.

"The Ethiopians played really well and could have caused trouble for us with some of the decent chances they had."

Ethiopia, absent from the Nations Cup since 1982, will have a chance to avenge the loss when the countries meet again on 3 June in the stamina-sapping high altitude of Addis Ababa.

Namibia host Libya in Windhoek the same weekend and if both matches produce home wins only one point will separate the first three teams with two rounds of qualifiers remaining.


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