Angolans count cost of Cup exit

BENGUELA - Angolans seemed to give a shrug of the shoulders yesterday after waking up to the elimination of their team from the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

BENGUELA - Angolans seemed to give a shrug of the shoulders yesterday after waking up to the elimination of their team from the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

There were plenty of plaudits for the host side's effort despite squandering a myriad of chances in Sunday's quarterfinal in Luanda, which they lost to Ghana 1-0.

"End of a dream," said the sports daily Jornal dos Desportes, while the state-owned Jornal do Angola proclaimed: "Palancas fought to the end", using the nickname of the team, taken from Angola's indigenous black antelope.

The state-run Angop news agency reported there had been calm acceptance of the result across the country and yesterday the capital Luanda and the country's second city Benguela were back at work, with little evidence of a hangover from the disappointment of the night before. But elimination against a weakened Ghana will be a blow to Angolan authorities, who spent a reported $1billion (R7,6billion) on the tournament.

The figure is an estimate made by Confederation of African Football officials and reflects massive spending on four new stadiums, several hotels and kilometres of new roads in a country still battling with decaying infrastructure after a prolonged civil war.

But with their side now eliminated, and the success of the event already overshadowed by the deadly attack on the Togo team bus in the enclave of Cabinda on the eve of the tournament, it now seems an expensive investment. - Reuters

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