***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS IN MY STREET ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about 6 periods away (depending on your own set of menstrual circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Angola, which has qualified for the World Cup once, in 2006.
Yep, that’s right… Angola… ANGOLA were at a World Cup. No, seriously.
Nickname: Palancas Negras (Giant Sable Antelopes)
FIFA Ranking: 126 (Mar 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from second round (CAF), finishing behind Egypt, Gabon and Libya
Angola… yeah you heard me right. That was ‘ANGOLA’… Fucking Angola were once at a World Cup. No shit.
In 2005, this central African nation managed to top their final round qualifying group, an achievement that booked their ticket to their first ever World Cup. Yeah, Angola. Angola did that. The Giant Sable Antelopes finished ahead of Nigeria on goal difference, thanks to a final day 1-0 away defeat of Rwanda. Scoring the decisive goal in the 79th minute, Akwá’s goal meant Angola would form part of the five-nation African contingent at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany (along with Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Tunisia). You heard what I said right? Angola. Fucking Angola. I’m not shittin’ ya.
Plus, not only did Angola qualify for the World Cup, but they actually showed out a bit too. No I’m serious, I’m dead serious, I’m talking about Angola here. Angola. That’s alpha-november-golf-oscar-lima-alpha, you got that?… Angola.
In their opening game in Cologne, Angola (seriously) faced the might of Portugal, which had just come off a runners-up finish at the 2004 European Championships. And while the Portuguese dominated the lion’s share of the encounter, Angola managed to escape almost unscathed, falling, just about, to a slim 1-0 loss. That actually happened. Angola almost drew with their historical rival Portugal. Angola.
They followed up their impressive opening performance by holding out for a 0-0 result against the might of Mexico, meaning a win in their final match against Iran would send them through to the round of 16. Imagine that. Angola in the round of 16. Hard enough to imagine Angola even being at the goddamn World Cup in the first place, let alone in the round of 16.
Now, just to be clear, before I go any further, you know I’m talking about Angola here, right? Angola. Not pergola. Or Algeria. Or Angelina Jolie. An-gola. Angola.
Okay, let’s go on…
Sadly, in their final group clash with Iran, Angola (hand on heart, I’m talking about Angola here) failed to get the result they needed. Conceding a late goal condemned them to third place and therefore just short of progression from the group stage. But fucking Angola. Dude, fucking Angola.
Aside from being one of only 13 African nations to take part in a World Cup Finals, they’ve qualified for Africa Cup of Nations on eight occasions (making the quarter finals both in 2008 and when they hosted in 2010) and they’ve even won the COSAFA Cup twice, but all that pales in comparison with their heroics in 2006, when, no shit, they were there at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. No, I’m dead serious. Angola. They were fucking there, I kid you not.
One to watch: The first 73 mins of the AFCON 2010 Angola, Angola vs Mali (just don’t watch after 3:29 of this)
Off the back of arguably the best spell in the national team’s history, Angola took to Africa’s centre stage, welcoming 15* other nations to compete at the 27th Africa Cup of Nations. And shortly after kickoff their fans were delirious, as the home team couldn’t have gotten off to a better start to the tournament.
The hosts put one past Mali, then another, then a penalty and then another penalty, and before you knew it, fans of the Antelopes would have been excused for thinking they could go all the way. Fans celebrated in the stands and across the nation, as thoughts turned to their route to the final and who, if anyone, could actually stop them. And what a celebration it was, as the fans celebrated Manucho’s 74th minute penalty that gave them a four goal cushion.
Oh, how they celebrated, and as they celebrated Mali scored once, then again in injury time, then again in injury time and then again in injury time. Eeep. Final score: 4-4. Whoops.
The hosts would in fact progress from the group but they’d be stuffed by Ghana in the quarter finals, completely undoing all the work of those glorious opening 73 minutes and knocking them out of the tournament.
*Reduced to 14 others, after Togo’s withdrawal (see below)
The Highpoint: 3rd in group, 2006 FIFA World Cup
As you now know, Angola actually were at a World Cup. The 2006 one to be precise. And despite being the lowest ranked team at the tournament, they managed to eek out not one, but two draws, against Iran and far superior Mexico. Sadly for Angola (yeah, nah, I’m talking about Angola, at a World Cup. For real), they couldn’t hold on against Iran to move on from the group stage. But it dead set did happen, swear to God I’m not yankin’ ya chain.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS 2023 IVORY COAST | QUALIFYING – GROUP STAGE
1 June 2022
ANGOLA 🇦🇴 x 🇨🇫 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
5 June 2022
MADAGASCAR 🇲🇬 x 🇦🇴 ANGOLA
19 Sep 2022
GHANA 🇬🇭 x 🇦🇴 ANGOLA