Angola go in search of first COSAFA Under-20 title

Angola will be hoping to make history when they compete at the 2022 TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023 | COSAFA Qualifier, seeking to win the regional title for the first time in their history.

Angola have finished third in each of the last three editions, and will be desperate to turn bronze into gold when they compete in Eswatini from October 6-16, a competition that also serves as a zonal qualifier for the continental finals in Egypt early next year.

To book a ticket to Cairo they will need to finish in the top two, something they have managed on four previous occasions, though always as the loser in the final.

They lost three finals in a row between 2000 and 2002, and then again in 2011 when they went down 2-1 to Zambia.

After finishing fourth in 2016, Angola disappointed by their own high standards in 2017 when they picked up just a single point from their three games to finish bottom of Group C.

They finished third in 2018, reaching the semifinals as runners-up in Group C, but then lost 1-0 to eventual winners South Africa in the semifinals.

The team claimed the bronze medal though with a 2-1 success over home side Zambia.

And it would be a repeat in 2019 as they waltzed through their group with three wins, including 8-0 versus Seychelles, but lost 3-0 to Zambia in the semifinals. The consolation was a 5-1 victory over Madagascar in the bronze medal match.

A not familiar refrain continued in 2020, the last competition played, as edged through the group stages on head-to-head after a loss to Eswatini (0-1) and victory over Botswana (4-0) in a three-team pool.

They lost 1-0 in the semifinals to Namibia, but then beat Zambia 2-12 to claim yet another bronze medal.

Angola have always been known as a fine producer of young talent, many of whom make their way to Portugal and other parts of Europe.

They have appeared at the finals of the African Under-20 Championships on six previous occasions and were champions in 2001 when they defeated Ghana in the finals that were played in Ethiopia.

That team had the likes of Gilberto and Mantorras, who would go on to have stellar senior careers.

Their other five appearances at the continental showpiece have been less successful, all ending in exits before the knockout stages. Their last appearance was all the. way back in 2005.

ANGOLA’S COSAFA UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP FINISHES IN LAST 23 YEARS
1999 – Did not enter
2000 – Runners-up
2001 – Runners-up
2002 – Runners-up
2003 – Group stages
2004 – Fourth
2005 – Group stages
2006 – Group stages
2007 – Group stages
2008 – Third
2009 – Group stages
2010 – Group stages
2011 – Runners-up
2013 – Third
2016 – Fourth
2017 – Group stages
2018 – Third
2019 – Third
2020 – Third