Angola name strong squad

HARARE - Angola have recalled Brazil-based midfielder Geraldo for next week’s crucial 2013 African Nations Cup second leg final qualifier against Zimbabwe in a bid to overturn a 3-1 deficit suffered in the first leg in Harare last month.

Geraldo, who plays for Brazilian second division side Parana, was included in coach Gustavo Ferrin’s strong 28-man squad released by the Angolan Football Federation yesterday.

The bulk of Ferrin’s squad is made up of locally-based players. Only eight professionals make up the squad.

Attacking midfielder Geraldo makes a return to the Palancas Negras after he was omitted from the squad that travelled to this year’s Afcon finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Previous Angola coach Lito Vidigal had become frustrated by the player’s behaviour after he failed to honour previous call-ups in the qualifiers.

Ferrin has, however, decided to give the midfielder a new lease of life with the Palancas Negras in the hope that he could be key in overturning the deficit.

Geraldo’s call-up has also been necessitated by the unavailability of injured Angola star playmaker Gilberto.

Gilberto, who plays for AEL Limassol in Cyprus, has been on the sidelines since August and missed the trip to Harare last month.

Without the elegant former Al Ahly midfielder, the Palancas Negras were reduced to an ordinary side against the Warriors, especially in the first half.

Zimbabwe raced into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 34 minutes courtesy of an own goal by Mateus, as well as Warriors stars Khama Billiat and Archieford Gutu.

The Angolans only started to play with conviction in the second half when Ferrin introduced Valladolid’s Manucho and Djalma, who plays for Kasimpasa in Turkey.

The two started to cause a lot of problems for the Warriors’ defence and it came as no surprise when Djalma scored the important consolation goal for Angola.

The Palancas Negras are also going to get a head start over the Warriors as they are regrouping for the second leg tomorrow night in Luanda.

On Friday morning, Ferrin and his team get down to serious preparations at the November 11 Stadium, the venue of next week’s match.

The Warriors will only regroup on Monday with plans for the team to conduct a training camp in South Africa.

Coach Rahman Gumbo has already been robbed off  the services of two crucial players in the form of captain Tapuwa Kapini and Rodwell Chinyengetere.

Kapini aggravated an ankle injury in the first leg and had to go under the knife last month to repair the damaged ligaments.

The inspirational captain is still waiting for his doctor’s review but he is expected to be out of action for at least four months.

Chinyengetere suffered a double fracture on his right leg during a Castle Premiership late last month and has been ruled out for over two months.

ANGOLA SQUAD


Bastos, Miguel, Lama and Diogenes (Petro de Luanda), Dany, Amaro, Manucho Day, Mingo Bille and Paizo (1st August) Vado (Recreativo da Caála); Landu and Gomito (Recreativo do Libolo); Pirolito, Castro, Fabricio and Paty (Interclube); Buco (National Benguela); Yano (Progress) and Manuel (ASA), Lunguinha (Kabuscorp), Manucho Gonçalves (Valladolid of Spain); Djalma Campos (Kasimpasa Turkey), Mateus (Nacional Madeira in Portugal); Kivuvu (CFR Cluj of Romania); Zuela (Apoel of Cyprus), Nando Rafael (Dusseldorf Germany) Geraldo (Parana, Brazil) and Dede (Ael Limassol in Cyprus). - Nigel Matongorere

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