Angola switch venue for Afcon warm-up
Angola have changed the venue of their planned friendly match at the weekend, moving the game against the Gambia from Lubango to Benguela.
It is the first of three warm-up games before Christmas for ‘Palancas Negras’ as they prepare for the African Nations Cup finals next month, where they share the same group with South Africa.
They meet Gabon on Saturday at Benguela’s Ombaka Stadium before taking on Cameroon and Rwanda in the next fortnight.
The change comes because Angola want to replicate conditions in Durban, where they will play Bafana Bafana on January 20.
Benguela has a hot tropical climate while Lubango is at altitude, similar to Johannesburg where Angola play their opening Group A game against Morocco at Soccer City on January 19.
Saturday’s upcoming match against the Gambians comes a week after a group of 24 home-based players, plus the Brazil based striker Geraldo, went into camp in Lubango in the first part of preparations for the finals.
Angola coach Gustavo Ferrin has expressed satisfaction with the first week of work by his squad but says they have taken time to adapt to working at altitude.
“It has been very positive and the work from the players has been considerable. They have made significant improvement in adapting to the altitude as well,” said the Uruguayan-born at a press conference in Lubango.
His particular focus has been working on the fitness for the group of home-based players because they have not had any game time since the end of the GiraBola season in early November.