watch it, egypt!

POACHER: Mahamed Abouterika. © Unknown.
POACHER: Mahamed Abouterika. © Unknown.

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

ACCRA - Angola coach Luis Oliveiras insists that the Palacas Negras will become the first country to beat Egypt at the 26th Africa Cup of Nations, when they clash in the quarterfinals at Baba Yaro Stadium in Kumasi tonight.

The match is scheduled to start at 7pm SA time.

Goncalves, also known as "The Professor", said he was happy with their performance against Tunisia, their last Group D match last Thursday night that ended in a goalless draw at Tamale Sports Stadium. Both countries needed a draw to qualify for the knockout stages.

"We are not here to please the media. I was happy with our performance and we are ready for the quarterfinal against Egypt," said Goncalves.

His side is the only southern African hope left in the tournament after the exit of Bafana Bafana, Namibia's Brave Warriors and Chipolopolo of Zambia.

"We are well aware that we are the only country remaining from southern Africa in the quarterfinals, the plan is to take each game as it comes." said Goncalves.

"It will be a tough match but we cannot afford to any slip - you either win or go home in the knockout stages.

"The players are well aware about the importance of doing well in this tournament. We are going for a win to lay a solid foundation for our preparations for the 2010 World Cup. The other reason why we need to do well is because the next finals of the tournament will take place in Angola in 2010."

Goncalves is one of the most successful African coaches after guiding Angola to their first ever World Cup appearance in Germany in 2006. He also won the African Youth Championships with the Angolan Under-20 national side.

Coach Hassan Shehata of Egypt, who is chasing his second consecutive Africa Cup of Nations gold medal, said they were geared up for a tough game against Angola, whom he described as one of the best sides in the tournament. But he pledged to show them the exit.

Angola will once more pin their hopes on golden striker Alberto "Manucho" Goncalves to help them brush aside the champions.

Egypt have Mohamed Aboutreika, who is capable of embarrassing the Angolans.

Manucho scored three goals in the group stages - when Angola played to a 1-1 draw with South Africa and in the 3-1 win over Senegal.

The striker is bound for Manchester United but will be loaned to Panathinaikos in Greece until the end of the season, where he will have South African Nasief Morris as a teammate.

The second quarterfinal tonight will be in Tamale where Cameroon take on Tunisia in a match where the spotlight will fall on Indomitable Lions striker Samuel Eto'o, who hopes to better his Afcon all-time scoring record of 16 goals.

lRamatsiyi Moholoa is in Ghana as a guest of Standard Bank.