Angola optimistic of overturning Warriors lead

HARARE - Angola football coach Gustavo Ferrin is optimistic his team will prevail over Zimbabwe in the second leg of 2013 African Nations Cup next week.

The Palancas Negras trail 3-1 after going down in the first leg played early last month at Rufaro Stadium.

Angola came unstuck inside the opening 34 minutes when their forward Mateus scored past his own goalkeeper Lama before Warriors star midfielders Khama Billiat and Achieford Gutu netted the other two goals.

Ferrin’s team only came out of their shell in the second half after the introduction of Manucho and Djalma, pinning the Warriors deep in their own half.

The Palancas Negras were rewarded with a vital away goal when Djalma squeezed his shot between Warriors’ goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini’s legs.

“We want to prepare the game with ease and with faith to reverse the negative result of the first leg in Harare,” Ferrin told a news conference after Angola regrouped for camp in Luanda yesterday.

“We will also try not to repeat the errors that we made the first game. The importance of the challenge is a shared responsibility. We have also corrected the situation with the arrival of players early for this match.”

The Uruguayan called up a 28-man strong squad for the second leg, made up mainly of locally-based players.
Only eight foreign-based players are expected to join camp early next week after turning out for their respective clubs this weekend.

The Angolan Girabola domestic league cancelled all league matches for this weekend to allow Ferrin and his home-based players time to start preparations for the second leg today.

Angola have recalled Brazilian-based attacking midfielder Geraldo to the team for the first time this year.

Geraldo, who plays for Parana in the Brazilian second division, has been brought in to replace injured playmaker Gilberto, who missed the first leg in Harare.

Ferrin also spoke of unity of purpose among his players as they harbour ambitions of overturning the first leg deficit.

The Uruguayan was not particularly pleased with how his team capitulated in those opening 34 minutes at Rufaro and has asked his players to put on a professional display next week.

Angola are also assessing the video of the first leg to see where they got it wrong.

Ferrin hopes by dissecting footage from Rufaro, he will be able to stop the Warriors from expressing themselves freely, which proved unbearable for the Angolans.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has appointed a quartet of Kenyan match officials to take charge of the match.

The match officials’ team will be headed by Sylvester Kirwa, who will be assisted by Elias Wamalwa and Peter Keirini.

Their compatriot Moses Osano has been designated as the fourth official for the match.

Caf also appointed Namibian John Muinjo to be the match commissioner.

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