Angola hope for improved showing at COSAFA Women’s Championship

Angola will be making a return to the COSAFA Women’s Championship for the second year running in 2020 as they take their place among the 10 teams who will compete in Nelson Mandela Bay from November 3-14.

The Angolans had taken a hiatus from the competition before their showing in 2019,  and have appeared in three of the seven previous finals overall.   It shows the emphasis that is being put back on the women’s game in the country, after they failed to enter the qualifiers for the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups.

They have also not played in the continental qualifiers since attempting to reach the 2010 African Women’s Championship, though they had entered the 2020 preliminaries that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Angola had been scheduled to meet Congo-Brazzaville over two legs in the first round.
They have twice before been to the African Women’s Championship. In 1995 they reached the semifinals but lost 6-4 on aggregate to South Africa.

They appeared again in 2002 but drew two and lost one of their three first round matches and finished third in their pool.    Their first appearance at the COSAFA Women’s Championship finals was in 2006 when they lost to Zimbabwe in a first round tie that ended up being played over two legs.

It was initially a three-team group, but when Mozambique withdrew, Angola and Zimbabwe played two games against one-another, that were won 3-1 and 1-0 by the Mighty Warriors.

They featured again in 2011, this time as hosts, and made it all the way through to the final against what was essentially an Under-20 selection from South Africa after a clash of fixtures for the senior national team.

Angola returned for the 2019 championship, but found the going tough, winning just one of their three pool matches.    They opened the tournament with a 4-1 loss to Zimbabwe, and that was followed by a 4-0 defeat to Eswatini.

They managed to gain some pride back with a 3-1 victory over rivals Mozambique in their final pool game to finish third in Group C.

The South Africans still proved too powerful though as they claimed a 3-1 final win in a competition where then striker, and now centre-back, Noko Matlou netted 12 goals.

In July, Artur de Almeida e Silva, president of the Angolan Football Federation, was appointed to coordinate the COSAFA Women’s Football Committee.
Angola are currently ranked number 121 in the world and 18 in Africa.