Angola seek progress at HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Women’s Championship

Best finish: Runners-up (2008)
FIFA Ranking: 144
CAF Ranking: 26

Last five tournaments:
2018 – Did not enter
2019 – Group Stage
2020 – Group Stage
2021 – Group Stage
2022 – Group Stage

Angola will be making a return to the HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Women’s Championship for the fifth year running in 2023 but have not made it past the group stages in the previous four tournaments.

They had taken a hiatus from the competition before their showing in 2019 and have appeared in six of the 10 previous tournaments overall. It shows the renewed 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 had also not played in the continental qualifiers since attempting to reach the 2010 African Women’s Championship, though they were back in the preliminaries for the 2022 finals but lost 7-1 to eventual quarterfinalists Botswana.

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 2008, 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.

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.

Angola did not appear again until 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.    They were back again in 2020 and following a 2-0 opening loss to South Africa, managed a 1-1 draw with Comoros Islands and a thrilling 4-3 victory over Eswatini.

They could not advance past the group stages again in 2021, draw with Mozambique (2-2) and South Africa (0-0), but them losing to eventual finalists Malawi (2-0) to bow out at the first stage.

They managed four points in 2022 with a win over Mauritius (3-0), a draw with Mozambique (1-1) and a loss to South Africa (3-0). That was enough for third place in the pool.