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Dala Double Helps Angola End Quarter-final Drought at TotalEnergies CAF AFCON

 A brace from striker Jacinto Dala helped Angola reach the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals for the first time in 14 years with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Namibia on Saturday.

 

Playing in front of a vociferous crowd in Bouake, Palancas Negras controlled the round of 16 tie from the outset against the tournament underdogs.
The Brave Warriors were handed a major advantage when Angola goalkeeper Neblu was sent off for handling outside his area in just the 14th minute.
The tone was set by Bethuel Muzeu, crafting the first clear-cut chance. Exploiting a loose pass near Angola's 18-yard box, Muzeu executed a lob, initiating a one-on-one with goalkeeper Neblu.
 
Neblu's attempt to save, extending beyond the 18-yard box, resulted in his expulsion from the game.
Despite being down to 10 men, Angola continued to dictate play and opened the scoring through Gelson Dala following good work from Gilberto and Fredy.
Namibia's task was made even more difficult shortly after when defender Lubeni Haukongo received a second booking for a foul on Mabululu.
Angola pounced on the resulting free-kick as Jacinto Dala powered home a header to double the lead before the break.
 
With Namibia chasing the game in the second half, gaps started to appear and Jacinto Dala turned provider to set up substitute Mabululu for Angola's third.
Mabululu maintained his composure to slot home from the edge of the box and cap off an excellent attacking performance from the Palancas Negras.
The result means Angola have reached the last eight of the tournament for the first time since their run to the semi-finals in 2008.
They will face the winner of Nigeria vs Cameroon in the next round as they look to emulate the achievements of their golden generation 15 years ago.
 
 
COACHES REACTION
 
Collin Benjamin - Namibia head coach
 
“We started very good. You could see the intention of this team, I think the turnaround was the send of the Angolan goalkeeper. In my experience in football, this is a situation you wouldn’t want to be in because after the red card the opponent will come in stronger thinking they are a man down, it is basically a soccer lesson.
 
And obviously within the situation, you get a 1-0, you get 2-0, 3-0 so in the end I think it’s a well-deserved win to Angola. Congratulations to them but I think as a Namibian, it’s a bitter pill to swallow but we have to keep our heads up.  We have to look forward if you just think about it tomorrow morning, you will realize it took us 26 years to record our first victory in the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON, we came here in 1998, and in 26 years, we past the group stage to coming to the knockout, so we have to take it step by step”.
 
 
Pedro Gonçalves - Angola head coach
 
"I would like to thank the team for securing this qualification. All the matches we have played are different and it comes with different dynamics and we saw that today. It was a difficult game and fantastic at the same time. It’s important to keep being resilient and focus on each match as we try to make efforts in each game. I would like to congratulate the team, the staff and everyone in Angola.
Even if people in the country are having difficulties to go by their duties and work, this victory will put smiles on their faces.. Both teams had nothing to lose. Against Namibia we went out together with the right strategy and also made a lot of mistakes but we corrected it.  
 
After the red card, it wasn’t easy but I asked the players to focus on the task they had to do it on the field and this was the reason we created more chances and kept our calmness and played well at the end.
When we started people didn’t believe in my plans and even personal things that didn’t have anything to do with work. But I have continued with my objectives and now we are here. I won’t say we are going to win the trophy but we are going to continue to dream".
 
 
Statistics
 
Angola have qualified for the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON for the first time in 14 years.
 
MATCH FACTS
 
●      Angola have won a TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations game by a three-goal margin for the first time in their history.
 
●      Angola have won their first ever knockout stage game at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations. They'll progress to the quarter finals for the third time in their history after 2008 and 2010 (no last 16 round in these editions).
 
●      Namibia have lost 38% of their TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations games (5/13) by at least three goals, the highest such percentage of any team in the tournament's history.
 
●      Neblú (Angola) was sent off after 17 minutes; no goalkeeper had ever been shown a red card that early in a TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations game since Opta collects this data (2010). He's the first goalkeeper to receive a red card for a handball foul in an AFCON match since Abdoulaye Soulama for Burkina Faso in 2013.
 
●      Angola v Namibia is the first TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations game with two players sent off before half-time, since Opta collects this data (2010).
 
●      Gelson Dala is the first player from Angola to score two braces in the same TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
 
●      Fredy (Angola) has three assists in this TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations - no player has more. Since Opta collects this data (2010), he's the first Angolan to assist two goals in the same AFCON game, and to assist three in a single tournament.
 
 
 
Tags:Dala Double Helps Angola End Quarter-final Drought at TotalEnergies CAF AFCON
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