Angola Seek Their First Nations Cup Semi-Final Spot

The hosts play Ghana in Luanda (kick off 1600 GMT) in the first of four quarter-finals scheduled over the next two days.

Favourites Ivory Coast take on Algeria (1930) in Sunday’s later game in Cabinda.

A capacity 50,000 crowd is set to watch Angola try to take advantage of Ghana’s injury woes and improve on their best Nations Cup of two years ago when they reached the last eight.

Angola’s top scorer in the tournament Flavio is back from a hamstring injury while Ghana are without Michael Essien, who missed their last match and has been ruled out of the tournament by a knee injury the midfielder suffered in training.

Ghana had already lost several key players through injury before heading to the tournament.

But Angola’s Portuguese coach Manuel Jose told a pre-match news conference on Saturday that Ghana’s young side were still more experienced than his team.

Meanwhile, Didier Drogba leads the Ivory Coast in their bid to reach the semi-finals for the third time in a row.

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic said this year’s tournament was their best chance of success after they lost in the 2006 final and suffering a surprise semi-final defeat two years ago.
“This generation will be playing for high stakes in the coming week. We lose all or we win all. It’s money time,” he said on Saturday.

But he also warned of the potential of Algeria, who sprang a surprise by beating African champions Egypt last November in a playoff to reach this year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

The other Nations Cup quarter-final ties will be played on Monday when Egypt meet Cameroon in Benguela and Nigeria take on surprise package Zambia in Lubango. Reuters