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Football | Afcon

Manucho © Gallo Images

Angola in 'rejuvenating' phase - Manucho



Following their 2-0 loss to Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) hosts South Africa, Angolan captain Alberto Mateus Contreiras (Manucho), attributes the result to a rebuilding phase in their national side.

The Palancas Negras were appearing at Afcon for a seventh time, and had made it to just one Fifa World Cup in 2006 in Germany.

“In 2006 we had a lot of experienced players, most of whom have since retired. This time around, that is not the case,” Manucho told Fifa.com.

“We have a young side that is undergoing a rejuvenation process. Many of these young players are playing in the tournament for the first time.” “It is quite normal that they will stumble now and then.”

The visitors hardly looked like troubling the Bafana Bafana defence, and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune had little work to do during the match.

"We took too long to come into the game. South Africa went forward and by the time we finally started putting some pressure on them, it was too late."

"The huge crowd really got behind the team, and we did not get any of the breaks as often happens in these matches."

It was a performance Manucho said his young side will have to forget.

"We just have to try to put the South Africa game behind us and focus for the next match. I am sure this will be a difficult match because Cape Verde has proven to be a good side."

There are a number of different permutations in Group A with Bafana on four points and Cape Verde Islands and Morocco both on two.

Angola languish in fourth on a single point, and need to win their final game against Cape Verde on Sunday at Nelson Mandela Bay, to have any chance of making it through to the knockout stages.

Manucho cited the 2012 Afcon tournament where Sudan were in a similar position on one point after two group matches as inspiration.

"At the last Afcon finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, Sudan found themselves in a similar situation: after two matches they had just one point."

"But they were the team that joined Ivory Coast in the next round, going through with four points after beating Burkina Faso in their last game. We went home with four points after losing our final game against Ivory Coast. So we are hoping that history can repeat itself, but this time with us going through."

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