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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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Ghana coach Otto Addo: We will not relax against CAR in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers

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They are presently ranked third in Group I, after leaders Madagascar and the Comoros. Despite the remarkable win over Mali's favoured Eagles, Addo insisted that the squad cannot afford to be complacent. His sentiments mirrored those of Mohammed Kudus. "One thing is certain: the game will be extremely challenging. "For everyone who thinks it'll be easy, we hope it is, but it's a very difficult game," Addo told reporters on Sunday. "We can't relax now," said the former Borussia Dortmund head coach. The match is scheduled to start at 19:00 GMT.

Otto Addo, Black Stars coach, has advised his players to be focused and not take their next encounter against the Central African Republic (CAR) lightly.

Ghana will face CAR on Monday, June 10, at the Baba Yara Stadium in the fourth of four matchdays in the 2026 World Cup qualification.

The Black Stars came into this game off a 2-1 victory against Mali in Bamako, raising their total to six points in three games.

They are presently ranked third in Group I, after leaders Madagascar and the Comoros.

Despite the remarkable win over Mali’s favoured Eagles, Addo insisted that the squad cannot afford to be complacent. His sentiments mirrored those of Mohammed Kudus.

“One thing is certain: the game will be extremely challenging. “For everyone who thinks it’ll be easy, we hope it is, but it’s a very difficult game,” Addo told reporters on Sunday.

“We can’t relax now,” said the former Borussia Dortmund head coach.

The match is scheduled to start at 19:00 GMT.

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2026 WCQ: Otto Addo expects a tight game against CAR

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"This is going to be really difficult. "For everyone who thinks we can just play them, I don't believe it will happen," remarked the former Borussia Dortmund coach. "They're performing well, especially in attacking transitions. They're quite dangerous; they demonstrated that in the 1-1 draw with Mali," he continued. The Black Stars are presently third in Group I, with six points. A victory would greatly improve their prospects of qualifying for the World Cup.

Ghana coach Otto Addo expects a tough encounter against the Central African Republic (CAR) in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

The Black Stars will meet CAR in the fourth round of matches on Monday at Baba Yara Stadium, with kickoff at 19:00 GMT.

Reflecting on their recent comeback win over Mali in Bamako during the third round, Addo emphasised the importance of the forthcoming encounter against CAR.

“This is going to be really difficult. “For everyone who thinks we can just play them, I don’t believe it will happen,” remarked the former Borussia Dortmund coach.

“They’re performing well, especially in attacking transitions. They’re quite dangerous; they demonstrated that in the 1-1 draw with Mali,” he continued.

The Black Stars are presently third in Group I, with six points. A victory would greatly improve their prospects of qualifying for the World Cup.

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Mohammed Kudus: Qualifying for the 2026 World Cup is the ultimate objective

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Ghana striker Mohammed Kudus has stated that the Black Stars are aiming to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

The squad recently returned to form, defeating Mali 2-1 in Bamako on their third matchday, due to second-half goals from Ernest Nuamah and Jordan Ayew.

With this victory, Ghana is presently third in Group I with six points.

Ahead of their matchday four against the Central African Republic on Monday at the Baba Yara Stadium, Kudus, who plays for West Ham United, emphasised that the Black Stars’ primary goal is to qualify for the coveted event in 2026.

“The belief has always existed; that we all want to go to the World Cup. “That is our ultimate goal, regardless of how we achieve it,” Kudus told the press on Sunday.

“Our coach has his strategies, but sometimes the game gets tougher. “We just have to do our best and get the results,” he said.

Kudus is likely to play an important part for Ghana when they face the Central African Republic in this critical qualifier.

The highly anticipated encounter is due to begin at 19:00 GMT.

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