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Flag of Angola
Angola has begun to enjoy the fruits of peace since the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. Fighting between the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by Jose Eduardo DOS SANTOS, and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas SAVIMBI, followed independence from Portugal in 1975. Peace seemed imminent in 1992 when Angola held national elections, but UNITA renewed fighting after being beaten by the MPLA at the polls. Up to 1.5 million lives may have been lost - and 4 million people displaced - in the quarter century of fighting. SAVIMBI's death in 2002 ended UNITA's insurgency and strengthened the MPLA's hold on power. DOS SANTOS has pledged to hold national elections in 2006.
Map of Angola
More about Angola:
|Association||Federação Angolana de Futebol|
|Coach||Luis Oliveira Goncalves|
|Most caps||Fabrice "Akwa" Maieco (68)|
|Top scorer||Fabrice "Akwa" Maieco (30)|
Angola 1 - 0 Cuba
(Angola; 1 June 1977)
Angola 7 - 1 Swaziland
(Luanda, Angola; 23 April 2000)
Portugal 6 - 0 Angola
(Lisbon, Portugal; 23 March 1989)
|Appearances||1 (First in 2006)|
|African Nations Cup|
|Appearances||3 (First in 1996)|
|Best result||Round 1, all|
The Angola national football team, nicknamed Palancas Negras, ("Black Impalas") is the national team of Angola and is controlled by the Federação Angolana de Futebol. On October 8, 2005, Angola qualified for the World Cup for the first time ever.
Luis Oliveira Goncalves took over as coach of the Angola national football team in 2003, after successful appearances with the Angola Under-20 national football team. The coach is the nation's favourite and the team managed to finish in first place of Group 4 Football World Cup 2006 (qualification), ahead of traditional African football powers like the Nigeria national football team and the Zimbabwe national football team. Group 4 was considered one of the toughest during the Qualifiers.
Captain Fabrice Akwa scored some crucial goals, including the winners against Rwanda in the last game, and in the game against the Nigeria national football team. Akwa is the fans' favourite having scored 30 goals in 67 international appearances. "This is the first time we are in the finals and we want to show off our football. We also want to show there is more to Angola than just war and oil," Akwa said.
Angola's best known player is the striker Pedro Mantorras, who plays for the Portuguese team Benfica.