Angola oozing confidence

HARARE - Zimbabwe's arch tormentor at Rufaro Stadium, Angolan forward Djalma, has predicted the Palancas Negras will score “many” goals against the Warriors in Sunday’s decisive African Nations Cup final qualifier.

The Warriors carry a seemingly healthy 3-1 lead from the first leg played at the start of September and appear favourites to qualify for the tournament to be held in South Africa in January.

Zimbabwe started the first leg like a bullet train, racing into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 34 minutes after an own goal from Angolan forward Mateus and two strikes from Khama Billiat and Archieford Gutu.

Djalma however troubled the Warriors defence when he was introduced at the beginning of the second half by coach Gustavo Ferrin for Mateus.

It came as no surprise when the Turkey-based forward pulled one back for the Palancas Negras when he squeezed his shot in between Tapuwa Kapini’s legs in the 58th minute.

That goal has given the Angolans hope of overturning Zimbabwe’s lead as a 2-0 victory at the weekend will see them qualify for South Africa on away goals.

“There are no secrets in football. If we are to meet our targets, we have to score more goals than our opponent. At this time, our thoughts are just in qualifying for the African nations Cup and nothing more,” Djalma told the Journal Dos Desportos yesterday.

“Once again we are here in the national team and I can only feel good. It will be a tough game as for both teams, but we have to rise to the challenge because it requires it, and we must be ready to be able to achieve our qualification."

Djalma, who plays for Turkish side Kasimpasa on loan from Portuguese giants FC Porto, is confident that the Palancas Negras will get the goals.

“I hope we win the game. My goals are not more important than the other players, what matters is we score as many goals as possible, to make a difference and we qualify,” he said.

“The supporters once again must come in their huge numbers to the stadium to help the team. I cannot ask for more than for the public to come and support the team because their presence is very important to us."

Mateus, who was unfortunate to beat his own goalkeeper Lama in the first leg, said they will be looking for an early goal to unsettle Zimbabwe.

“We are trying to correct what we did wrong in the first leg and create conditions to surprise the opponent,” said the Maritime player.

“We are aware that we face a team that maybe, come here to defend more. We are working on the technical and tactical aspects to play more offensive and get an early goal.

“I think our supporters were disappointed by the first leg, but I ask them to trust us and they must come in droves to help the team. We want to dedicate this victory to all the Angolan people."

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