The 2013 Afcon takes place from 19 January to February 10, and it is to be held in the 2010 World Cup host nation, South Africa.
History will be written on February 10 at Soccer City in Johannesburg, as the 29th Africa Cup of Nations comes to a climax and a winner is crowned.
||Quarter-finalists – 2008, 2010
|HOW THEY QUALIFIED
Angola had to come from behind in order to secure their place in the Afcon, going into their home tie against Zimbabwe 3–1 down on aggregate. Their crucial away goal in Harare, scored by Djalma Campos, meant that the Palancas Negras needed to score two goals in Luanda in order to gain entrance to the African showpiece. Manucho scored the two vital strikes in the first ten minutes and Angola was able to hang on to the 2-0 result and guarantee qualification with a 3-3 aggregate away goals result.
|THE COACH | GUSTAVO FERRIN
Gustavo Ferrin was appointed head coach of Angola following Lito Vidigal’s disappointing 2012 Afcon campaign. Ferrin has ties with the youth set-up in Angola and he has been tasked with taking the team to the 2014 World Cup. The 53-year-old coach has enjoyed successful stints coaching international youth sides such as the Peru Under-17 and Uruguay U20 squads.
His first two games for Angola displayed the coaches ability to turn a team around. Following the Palancas Negras’ crushing defeat to Zimbabwe, Ferrin inspired his players to rally and fight for a place in the Afcon. He will focus on discovering Angola’s talent and getting his side through a tough group which includes hosts South Africa, Morocco and Cape Verde.
|THE CAPTAIN | MANUCHO
Manucho, the ex-Manchester United striker, currently plays for Real Valladolid in Spain. The Angolan captain is known for his incredible strike rate for the national side, where he has scored 21 goals in 38 matches. His two-goal heroics against Uganda show why his popularity is so strong amongst Angolan fans.
Combining power with skill, Manucho is similar to players such as Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Adebayor. His natural attacking flair will burden most defensive lineups. He is Angola’s major threat in the final third and will be the Palancas Negras’ target man throughout the tournament.
|THE STAR PLAYER | DJALMA CAMPOS
In Angola’s case, captain Manucho is certainly their most influential player. However, their squad does have strength in other areas, especially with 25-year-old versatile playmaker Djalma Campos taking up position in the midfield and the final third of the pitch.
The Porto player is currently on loan to Kasimpasa in Turkey but made his name playing for Maritimo in Portugal. He signed with Porto in a five-year deal but struggled to break into the starting eleven in Lisbon. Djalma is a versatile player with the ability to play in both the midfield and as a striker. He will be focused on forming a dangerous partnership with Manucho during the Nations Cup.
|THE EMERGING TALENT | DOMINIQUE KIVUVU
Dominique Kivivu, the CFR Cluj midfielder, has a high work rate and offers strength in the midfield for Angola. The 25-year-old held dual citizenship with the Netherlands before making the decision to play for Angola in 2009.
He has not been a regular starter for the Palancas Negras since his debut but the central midfielder’s capacity to control the game is coupled with a powerful shooting ability. Even though he may not be one of the youngest talents in the Angolan set-up, Kivuvu is still an emerging force in the midfield.
Amaro, Massunguna, Zuela, Miguel