Angola name squad for COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship defence

Angola coach Jose Jorge has selected a very young squad to defend their COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship title in Blantyre, Malawi from October 11-20, with the majority of last year’s group preparing for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Brazil.

It means a totally new selection for the Angolans, which includes the likes of forward Denilson Makokisa and midfielder Antonio Lopes, who are both just 13, and defender Domingos Mendes, who has only recently turned 14.

This will be their introduction to international football and Angola are likely already thinking ahead to the following global finals in this age-group in 2021 as they seek to develop players for that competition.

Angola have been drawn in Group B at the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship and open their campaign against Mozambique on October 11.    They will follow that with a clash against Lesotho two days later, and complete their pool play against Comoros on October 15.

Angola defeated South Africa 1-0 in last year’s final in Mauritius and picked up a bronze medal at the African Under-17 Championships as well.    Angola have competed at the African Under-17 Championship on four occasions now, with their bronze medal their best showing. They exited in the group stages in 1997, 1999 and 2017.

The team also competed in the 2001 COSAFA Under-17 Championships but did not make it past the group stages, while it was the same story in 2007 when they finished third in a four-team pool.

They beat Eswatini 3-1, but then lost to Zimbabwe and Namibia, both by 2-1 scorelines.

Angola did not return until 2018, when they breezed through the pool stages with wins over Malawi (1-0), Eswatini (4-0) and Zimbabwe (2-1), defeated Namibia 7-0 in the semifinals and then edged South Africa in the decider.

One of the stars of that competition, Zito Luvumbo, later went for trials with English Premier League giants Manchester United.

Angola squad:

Goalkeepers: Cristovao Catungue, Antonio Gaspar

Defenders: Benedito Bengui, Garcia Mahula, Jeremias Kossi, Jose Gonga, Jose Joao, Domingos Mendes, Manuel Manjolo, Antonio Jose, Etariel Afonso

Midfielders: Henrique Cusso, Osvaldo Inga, Vicente Domingos, Andre Muhongo, Antonio Lopes

Strikers: Denilson Makokisa, Rivaldo Fonseca, Bruno De Castro, Valdemiro Domingos