In a dramatic showdown, Angola secured a spot in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations by defeating Namibia 3-0. Despite the early dismissal of goalkeeper Neblu, Angola showcased resilience with Gelson Dala scoring twice and Mabululu adding another.
Namibia faced an uphill battle after Neblu’s red card in the 17th minute for handling the ball outside his box. Dala capitalized on the situation, scoring a tap-in before half-time. Namibia’s troubles intensified with Lubeni Haukongo’s red card and Dala’s powerful header from Fredy’s free-kick.
Mabululu sealed the victory with a well-executed finish in the second half, securing Angola’s place in the quarter-finals. Angola will face Nigeria in the next round after the Super Eagles defeated Cameroon 2-0.
Despite the challenges, Angola’s captain Fredy played a pivotal role in all three goals, emphasizing the team’s unity. The victory marked Angola’s first knockout win at an AFCON finals, signaling their determination in the tournament.
Namibia, while exiting the competition, achieved notable milestones, including their first-ever AFCON victory against Tunisia and reaching the knockout stage for the first time in their history.
In another AFCON development, Angola’s head coach, Pedro Goncalves, highlighted the historic significance of the match, considering it the most crucial for Angola in the last 14 years. Namibia’s coach, Collin Benjamin, embraced the underdog role, emphasizing that there are no small teams left in the tournament.