Ambitious Angola aim for top-three finish
Angola have been set an ambitious target of a top-three finish when
they make a fifth consecutive appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Uruguay-born head coach Gustavo Ferrin and his assistants told the
Angolan media that national football federation officials had raised the
bar after a disappointing showing at the 2012 tournament.
The Palancas Negros (Black Antelopes) beat Burkina Faso, drew with
Sudan and lost to a second-string Ivory Coast side to go out on goal
difference after the first round in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea.
Being pipped for second spot by Sudan was a massive setback for the
Angolans, who had travelled to central Africa confident of finishing
group runners-up behind title favourites Ivory Coast.
The Antelopes face what appears to be an even tougher mini-league
task in South Africa against the host nation, former champions Morocco
and debutants Cape Verde Islands.
Angola confront Morocco in the second half of a January 19
opening-day double-header at the 90,000-capacity Soccer City stadium on
the outskirts of the sprawling Soweto township.
It is a match likely to have a major impact on the final Group A
standings with the Atlas Lions also desperate to progress after a
first-round exit from the previous tournament. Local players dominate
the squad and Ferrin is banking on their mental toughness, forged
through years of civil war in the south-western country, to create a