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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Angola team guide

A one-stop guide to all you need to know about Angola ahead of the 2006 World Cup.

Fixtures (Group D):

  • v Portugal - 11 June, 2000 BST, Cologne
  • v Mexico - 16 June, 2000 BST, Hanover
  • v Iran - 21 June, 1500 BST, Leipzig

    How did they get to Germany: Sprang a major surprise by finishing top of a tough group containing Nigeria. The two teams finished level on points but Angola went through with a better record in the head-to-head games.

    Qualifying star: Fabrice Akwa. Scored some crucial goals, including the winner against Nigeria and the only strike against Rwanda that clinched their qualification.

    Manager: The hugely popular Luis Oliveira Goncalves. Achieved great success with the Under-20 side by leading them to the African Youth Championship and was put in charge of the senior side in 2003.

    Fabrice Akwa

    Captain: Akwa. Angola's sportsman of the year is a veteran of the national side who leads from the front and is highly respected. Not as quick as he once was but has a knack for being in the right place.

    World Cup pedigree: Have never qualified for a finals before and rarely looked like doing so. Their goal is usually to make the African Cup of Nations.

    Pedro Mantorras

    Present star man: Benfica striker Pedro Mantorras has yet to achieve his potential, partly due to a knee injury, but has the ability to take over from Akwa as the focal point of the side.

    Strengths: Goncalves has moulded the team into a very efficient defensive unit and they will be looking to cause a major shock in Germany.

    Weaknesses: The team lacks a playmaker of international class and they can sometimes struggle for goals.

    Did you know? Angola almost got knocked out at the preliminary qualification stage. They lost 3-1 to African minnows Chad in their first leg, which led to the sacking of Brazilian coach Ismael Kurtz, before winning the second leg 2-0 to go through on away goals.

    World ranking: 57

    Odds: 750/1

    Local view: "Angola will be a very, very strong underdog. We have a lot of ground to gain to compete with these powerful nations. They will play a collective game with strong emphasis on defence and try to spring a few surprises on the counter-attack." Jose Cunha, LAC radio station.

    Our verdict: An unknown quantity, but they are likely to find the step up to the international stage a tough one.

    Ranking and odds correct at 22 May. Odds supplied by William Hill.


    Pick your Angola XI
    31 May 06 |  Squad selectors
    Country profile: Angola
    03 Nov 05 |  Country profiles


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