Angola geared up for World Cup despite early exit

Angola blamed inexperience for their early exit from the African Nations Cup finals but coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves said the competition would stand his side in good stead for their first trip to the World Cup later this year.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2006 16:56 IST
Reuters
Reuters
None

Angola blamed inexperience for their early exit from the African Nations Cup finals but coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves said the competition would stand his side in good stead for their first trip to the World Cup later this year.

Oliveira Goncalves said bad luck had played a part in his side failing to secure a quarter-final place at the Nations Cup as they missed out on goal difference in Group B on Sunday.

Angola beat fellow World Cup debutants Togo 3-2 in their last group match in Cairo to miss out by one goal to the second- placed Democratic Republic of Congo. Cameroon won the group with three wins out of three

Angola's success on Sunday was their first Nations Cup victory in three tournament appearances.

"We got four points, but we are not happy to miss out on qualification, said Oliveira Goncalves, who won hero status in his war-torn country after leading them to a surprise place at the World Cup in Germany.

"We tried with so much effort but we had no luck. We did all we could do, but fell short.

"We had a lack of experience on the field but we will prepare well to overcome this at the World Cup.

"We got some good experience at this tournament, this run has been very good for us. We will try to use this for our World Cup adventure."

The coach said Angola held no lofty ambitions of success in Germany, but rather the intention of promoting Angolan soccer.

"After 30 years of civil war to have qualified for the World Cup is a massive boost for our country and our people and our aim inn Germany is try and make them happy and proud."

The coach said Angola would have a programme of friendly matches, participation in the regional Cosafa Castle Cup and a one-month preparatory training camp ahead of the World Cup in order to prepare for the finals where the face Mexico, Iran, and Portugal.

First Published: Jan 30, 2006 16:56 IST