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HomeAfricaAlgeriaAngola aim to make AFCON quarters for third time in history

Angola aim to make AFCON quarters for third time in history

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, Jan 27 – As Angola prepare for their first Africa Cup of Nations knockout match in 14 years, captain Fredy says his side are motivated by proving their critics wrong.

Written off by many back home before travelling to the delayed 2023 finals in Ivory Coast, the Palancas Negras have made it past the opening round for the first time since reaching the last eight as hosts in 2010.

In addition, they won two games to top their pool – with both achievements Nations Cup firsts for them – and achieve their highest points total (seven) ahead of higher-ranked opponents Algeria, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

“In our country, the people weren’t too confident in the team but this was extra motivation for us – to prove them wrong,” Fredy told BBC Sport Africa.

“We are very happy because nobody expected this. Journalists said Algeria would beat us, but I said they need to prove it on the pitch. We have proved we are a tough team.

“Match by match, we have the feeling we can do something and the confidence is growing. Now we are among the best 16 teams [in Africa] and now we believe in the dream.”

On Saturday, Angola take on neighbours Namibia in the last 16, with both sides looking to win a knockout game for the first time.

Both of the Palancas Negras’ previous quarter-final appearances came when the Nations Cup finals had a 16-team format.

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