CAF AFCON Futsal 2024: Angola’s Sable Antelopes roar back to overcome Zambia


The Sable Antelopes of Angola showcased a remarkable comeback in the TotalEnergies CAF Futsal AFCON as they triumphed 8-5 over Zambia in a thrilling encounter at the Salle Prince Moulay Abdellah.

Angola, determined to bounce back from their opening defeat to hosts Morocco, started the game with intent and passion. Anderson Fortes unleashed an early attempt from distance, narrowly missing the target, setting the tone for an action-packed affair.

However, it was Zambia who drew first blood just before halftime, with Patrick Banda capitalizing on a defensive error to put the Chipolopolo ahead. The Sable Antelopes were undeterred and came out firing on all cylinders in the second half.

The second period witnessed an explosion of goals, with Angola turning the tide dramatically. Joâo Cambangula kick-started Angola’s resurgence with a close-range finish, leveling the score at 1-1. Francisco Pemba Gabriel then seized the momentum, scoring a hat-trick in quick succession to put Angola in the driving seat.

Gaspar Celestino and Helber Garcia further extended Angola’s lead, showcasing clinical finishing to make it 5-2. Zambia fought back bravely, with Phiri Wiseman completing a hat-trick of his own to keep the Chipolopolo in contention. However, Angola remained resolute and continued their attacking onslaught.

Angola player celebrate after scoring against Zambia. PHOTO: CAF Online

Helber Garcia added his second goal of the night, followed by another strike from Francisco Pemba Gabriel, securing his hat-trick and pushing Angola’s advantage to 6-3. Despite Zambia’s late surge with additional goals from Francis Chinyama and Wiseman Phiri, Angola’s dominance was sealed with further strikes from Anderson Fortes and Francisco Pemba Gabriel.

The final whistle blew with Angola celebrating their first victory of the tournament, defeating Zambia 8-5 in a captivating showdown. This result reinvigorates Angola’s campaign in the TotalEnergies CAF Futsal AFCON, keeping their hopes alive of advancing to the semifinals.

Speaking after the match, Angola’s coach, Ignacio Antunes, expressed his delight at the team’s performance, particularly the resilience shown after going behind in the first half. “The players showed incredible character and determination to turn the game around. We knew we had to win today, and they delivered a fantastic response in the second half,” said Antunes.

Meanwhile, Zambia’s coach Andrea Cristoforetti acknowledged the spirited display from his team but highlighted the need to tighten up defensively. “It was a tough game against a very good Angola side. We need to learn from our mistakes and regroup for our final group match against Morocco,” said Cristoforetti.

With this victory, Angola climbs back into contention in Group B, setting up a crucial showdown against Ghana in their next fixture. Zambia, on the other hand, will look to bounce back against hosts Morocco in their final group match.

The TotalEnergies CAF Futsal AFCON continues to deliver exciting and unpredictable matchups, showcasing the intensity and skill of African futsal. As the tournament progresses, teams are leaving it all on the court, striving for glory and a chance to etch their names in continental futsal history.


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