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Mozambique returns to AFCON to upset teams

Posted : 03 January 2024

The Mambas of Mozambique are set to make their fifth appearance at the TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations 2024 in Cote D'Ivoire, marking their return after over a decade of absence from the showpiece event.

In Group B, the Mambas aim to leave a lasting impression on African football fans by showcasing their skills on the grandest stage. Mozambique previously qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in 1986, 1996, 1998, and most recently in 2010. However, they were eliminated in the first round on all four occasions.

Their debut in 1986 saw Mozambique reach the final tournament in Egypt, where they were placed in Group A with Senegal, Ivory Coast, and hosts Egypt. Unfortunately, they lost all their matches without scoring a goal. The subsequent years brought mixed results, with Mozambique experiencing challenges in qualification.

After a 12-year absence, Mozambique returned to AFCON in 2010, facing tough opponents like Egypt, Nigeria, and Benin in Group C. Despite a draw against Benin, they were unable to progress, highlighting the competitive nature of the tournament.

Although not considered favorites for AFCON 2024, Mozambique, coached by Chiquinho Conde, could pose a challenge for stronger teams. Placed in Group B with Ghana, Egypt, and Cape Verde, Mozambique faces a tough task to advance to the next round.

Key players to watch include Reinildo Mandava from Atletico Madrid and Geny Catamo from Sporting CP. Mandava's defensive prowess and aerial abilities make him a crucial asset, while Catamo's speed and skill on the flanks can trouble opposing defenses.

Coach Conde, optimistic about Mozambique's chances, emphasizes unity and hard work as essential elements for success. The team's return to AFCON signifies a renewed opportunity, and players like Mandava express confidence in defying the odds and making a mark in the competition.

The squad features notable names, including goalkeepers Ernan Siluane, Fasistencio Joao, and Ivane Urrbal, defenders like Bruno Langa and Edmilson Dove, midfielders Joao Bonde and Ricardo Guimaraes, and strikers Elias Pelembe and Geny Catamo, among others.

As Mozambique faces formidable opponents, the Mambas aim to overcome challenges, showcasing their potential and rewriting their AFCON history with a strong collective effort.



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