Angola name young squad for 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship

Angola coach Lourdes Lutonda has named a squad for the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship as the country makes a return to the regional competition for the first time in 11 years.    Lutonda, the former Under-20 national team coach, has selected a young squad, with 12 aged 20 or under, and the youngest being 16-year-old midfielder Margarete Salvador.

The oldest member of the squad is defender Ilda Pedro, who is still only 25, which illustrates the plan of Lutonda to use the competition in Nelson Mandela Bay to build for the future.

Angola have been drawn in Group C and will play the opening game of the tournament on July 31 when they face Zimbabwe at the Wolfson Stadium.

Their second match will be against Eswatini on August 3, before they close out their pool play against Mozambique two days later.    Angola will be appearing at their firstCOSAFA Women’s Championship since they finished second at the 2008 finals they hosted.

On that occasion they lost 3-1 to a Noko Matlou-inspired South Africa, but they have not been back since and so will be a welcome addition to the line-up in 2019.      Their only other finals appearances came 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.  Angola 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 pool matches and finished third in their pool.     They have not entered the preliminaries since 2010.

Angola squad:

Goalkeepers: Domingas Monteiro Kananga, Rita Gabriela Luís José, Jacinta Danilo António

Defenders: Manuela João Simão, Helena Ngueve Nachiuíssa Sassoma, Ilda Luzia Da Costa Pedro, Indira Vissolela Fernandes Luís, Vanuza António Francisco

Midfielders: Sara Bilumbu Luvunga, Francisca De Azevedo José Gaspar, Beatriz Dos Santos, Teresa João Evaristo, Margarete Mendes Salvador, Cristina Alegria Makua

Strikers: Arminda Paulina Lopes, Laurinda Verónica Quinguengo Maonte, Zeferina Elsa Caupe, Germana Lurena Lopes Fernandes, Edith Chissola Afonso Luís