Angola, Namibia to battle for quarterfinals in epic encounter


AFCON Angola, Namibia to battle for quarterfinals in epic encounter

Festus Chuma 14:01 - 27.01.2024

Angola and Namibia gear up for a historic face-off in AFCON 2023 Round of 16, igniting Southern African rivalry.

We are finally here — the Round of 16 at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

The spotlight turns to the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, where Angola and Namibia are set to lock horns in what promises to be a riveting encounter on Saturday, January 27.

Angola, having impressively topped Group D, brings a blend of skill and strategic mastery to the field.

Their journey so far, marked by victories over Mauritania and Burkina Faso, and a draw against Algeria, highlights their formidable form.

Gelson Dala, the shining star in CAF's team of the group stage, poses a significant threat with his goal-scoring prowess. His two goals in the tournament have been vital for Angola’s forward momentum.

Mabululu and Kialonda Gaspar have equally contributed to Angola’s success. Mabululu’s goal-scoring ability and Gaspar’s defensive solidity, particularly evident in their clean sheet against an attack-minded Burkina Faso, have been crucial.

"It has been a historic moment for us and we have a bigger game tomorrow, perhaps the biggest game in the last 14 years of the Angolan national team," remarked Pedro Gonçalves, Angola’s head coach.

Namibia, on the other hand, steps onto the pitch with a mix of determination and the zeal of underdogs.

Their journey to the knockout phase, buoyed by their historic win, the first in their TotalEnergies CAF AFCON history, is a testament to their grit.

Deon Hotto, with two Man of the Match awards, has been a pivotal figure for the Brave Warriors, while Peter Shalulile’s quest for his first goal in Ivory Coast adds an intriguing subplot to their campaign.

Namibia’s head coach, Collin Benjamin, reflects on their journey: "We have some good technical players with big hearts... We are a very good team, our boys are happy to be here and there is more fun." 

The history between these two teams paints a picture of Angolan dominance.

In their 12 previous encounters across all competitions, Angola remains unbeaten with six wins and six draws. This record, however, is just a number for Namibia, who have consistently shown that they can defy the odds. 

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