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Mozambique AFCON 2023 Team Profile: Mambas keen to make history in difficult group

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Mozambique returned to AFCON in 1998 after a decade hiatus, only to be grouped alongside Ghana, Tunisia, and Ivory Coast. Despite a promising 1-1 draw with Tunisia, they were unable to progress to the next round. In successive visits in 2002 and 2010, the squad faced challenging groups and ultimately fell short of the knockout stages. Mozambique enters the 2023 AFCON with a newfound passion and resolve, determined to improve their fortunes. Drawn into a difficult group with Egypt, Ghana, and Cape Verde, the Mambas recognise the difficult challenge ahead. Fans, on the other hand, are optimistic that the squad will eventually break through and have a significant influence on the competition.

Mozambique is preparing for their sixth appearance in the competition. The squad is eager to overcome previous setbacks and make a name for themselves in this year’s tournament.

Following attaining independence in 1975 and joining the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Mambas’ experience in AFCON began in 1986. However, their early years in the competition were marred by poor results against powerful opponents like Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Senegal.

Mozambique returned to AFCON in 1998 after a decade hiatus, only to be grouped alongside Ghana, Tunisia, and Ivory Coast. Despite a promising 1-1 draw with Tunisia, they were unable to progress to the next round. In successive visits in 2002 and 2010, the squad faced challenging groups and ultimately fell short of the knockout stages.

Mozambique enters the 2023 AFCON with a newfound passion and resolve, determined to improve their fortunes. Drawn into a difficult group with Egypt, Ghana, and Cape Verde, the Mambas recognise the difficult challenge ahead. Fans, on the other hand, are optimistic that the squad will eventually break through and have a significant influence on the competition.

AFCON 2023 Matches:
14 January 2024: Egypt v Mozambique

19 January 2024: Cape Verde v Mozambique

22 January 2024: Mozambique v Ghana

Key Players to Watch:
Domingues (Elias Gaspar Pelembe):

Domingues, one of the tournament’s oldest players, has made 101 appearances for the Mambas, scoring 16 goals.

Since his debut in 2004, the 40-year-old offensive midfielder has been a crucial figure for Mozambique, demonstrating his expertise and relevance to the squad.

Bruno Langa:

Langa, a crucial player for Chaves in the Portuguese first division, is progressively becoming an important member of the Mambas’ roster.

The 26-year-old left-back made his senior debut in 2016 and has progressed through the ranks, beginning with the U-20 side.

Despite the fact that the 2018 AFCON is Langa’s first big event, he is prepared to establish his value as one of the team’s few players going abroad.

Mexer (Edson André Sitoe):

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Mexer offers a wealth of experience, having played for prominent teams in Portugal and France for numerous years.

With 56 Mozambican national team appearances, the 35-year-old midfielder hopes to make an impact at the tournament.

From 2014 until 2019, Mexer was a prominent player for Rennes, and his expertise and leadership will be vital for Mozambique.

Coach: Chiquinho Conde:

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He has already represented the national team and now has the opportunity to lead the team in a historic event. Conde has played for numerous teams in Portugal, notably Sporting Braga, as well as the New England Revolution in the United States. The 58-year-old won the Taca de Portugal as a player with Belenenses and Sporting CP but has yet to do so as a manager. Getting the Mambas past the Group stage, on the other hand, will be a huge accomplishment.

Team Statistics:

Appearances so far: 4

Best Results: Group Stage in 1986, 1996, 1998, and 2010

Most capped player: Manuel José Luís Bucuane (Tico-Tico) with 69 appearances

Captain: Domingues

Top scorer: Manuel José Luís Bucuane (Tico-Tico) 27 goals in 123 appearances

The AFCON tournament will start on January 13, 2024 and conclude on February 11.

Source: 3news.com

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Thomas Partey returns from months of injury as Arsenal thrash Sheffield United

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The victory moves Arsenal two points behind leaders Liverpool. It maintains the Gunners in the championship fight, while Sheffield United is 11 points from safety with only 11 games left. Arsenal scored after just five minutes, and the only surprise was how long it took them. They broke United open down the left before cutting the ball back for Odegaard, who scored from 10 yards out. The advantage was doubled in the 13th minute when Bukayo Saka's low cross was deflected into his own net by Bogle, who got his legs tangled with the ball deflecting off his ankle, and it was immediately extended when Martinelli hammered in via a deflection after Jakob Kiwior's cut back.

Thomas Partey returned from injury as Arsenal won their eighth Premier League game in a row, defeating Sheffield United 6–0 at Bramall Lane.

The Gunners were ahead 3-0 after 13 minutes and 5-0 at halftime against the league’s worst team.

Mikel Arteta’s squad scored goals through Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, Kai Havertz, Declan Rice, and Ben White, as well as an own goal by Jayden Bogle.

The victory moves Arsenal two points behind leaders Liverpool.

It maintains the Gunners in the championship fight, while Sheffield United is 11 points from safety with only 11 games left.

Arsenal scored after just five minutes, and the only surprise was how long it took them. They broke United open down the left before cutting the ball back for Odegaard, who scored from 10 yards out.

The advantage was doubled in the 13th minute when Bukayo Saka’s low cross was deflected into his net by Bogle, who got his legs tangled with the ball deflecting off his ankle, and it was immediately extended when Martinelli hammered in via a deflection after Jakob Kiwior’s cut back.

During the first half, Havertz made it 4-0 by tucking into the bottom corner after a Martinelli through pass.

Arsenal sliced through United at will, and on 39 minutes, Rice finished low past the exhausted home goalie Ivo Grbic.

The visitors did not let up after the interval, as another well-executed play resulted in right-back White blasting powerfully past Grbic with his left foot.

The Gunners are the first English league team to win three straight away games by five or more goals, while United, who appear bound to relegation, are the first to lose four consecutive home games in all competitions while surrendering five or more goals.

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Maybe he wants an autograph – Asamoah Gyan hits back at NDC MP

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Speaking to Radio XYZ, Mr. Dafeamekpor said that the former Black Stars captain was a longtime follower of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who did not desire glory for their opponents. In reaction, Asamoah Gyan stated that the NDC MP is only seeking attention for his autograph. "Perhaps he wants an autograph. Do not worry. "I will sign one for him soon," the former Sunderland attacker joked on X (previously Twitter).

Asamoah Gyan, former Black Stars captain, has replied to charges made by Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, that he purposely missed a penalty during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He claimed that Gyan’s vital miss in the quarter-final match against Uruguay, which would have made Ghana the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals, was politically motivated.

Speaking to Radio XYZ, Mr Dafeamekpor said that the former Black Stars captain was a longtime follower of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) who did not desire glory for their opponents.

In reaction, Asamoah Gyan stated that the NDC MP is only seeking attention for his autograph.

“Maybe he wants an autograph. Do not worry. “I will sign one for him soon,” the former Sunderland attacker joked on X (previously Twitter).

The former Black Stars captain has faced a storm of criticism after being selected to the NPP manifesto committee.

The 38-year-old will lead the party’s Youth and Sports subcommittee, reporting to Vice President and NPP flagbearer Dr Bawumia.

Despite the attacks, Asamoah Gyan says he is motivated and ready to give his share to country building.

As Africa’s leading World Cup scorer with six goals, he is determined to use his knowledge to restore Ghanaian football.

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Jose Peseiro has resigned as Nigeria’s head coach

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He agreed to an extension till the end of the tournament after lowering his compensation from $70,000 to $50,000. Despite guiding Nigeria to the AFCON final, which they lost 2-1 to host country Ivory Coast, both sides chose to separate ways. Peseiro congratulated the NFF and those who helped make his term unforgettable, including Sir Amaju Pinnick, President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, and all of the staff and players.

José Peseiro, the head coach of Nigeria’s national side, the Super Eagles, has stepped down after his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation expired.

In a statement posted on X, the Portuguese coach acknowledged his thanks for the chance, saying, “We completed our deal with the NFF yesterday. It was an honour and privilege to coach the Super Eagles. It’s been 22 months of incredible devotion, sacrifice, emotion, and enthusiasm. We feel fulfilled.”

Peseiro’s original contract with the NFF expired shortly before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.

He agreed to an extension till the end of the tournament after lowering his compensation from $70,000 to $50,000.

Despite guiding Nigeria to the AFCON final, which they lost 2-1 to host country Ivory Coast, both sides chose to separate ways.

Peseiro congratulated the NFF and those who helped make his term unforgettable, including Sir Amaju Pinnick, President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, and all of the staff and players.

“We would like to express our gratitude to Sir Amaju Pinnick (the president who signed us), President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, the NFF, all the Staff, and especially all the PLAYERS, with whom leading has been a great pleasure.

“Guys, we are thankful; it has been a privilege to be part of this family. We will miss you, but we will always be there for you, no matter where you are. A big hug to all of you.”

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