Angola 3-0 Namibia: Muondo Dala shines as Angola progress despite goalkeeper’s early dismissal

Having emerged undefeated from Group D at the 2024 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Angola had earned themselves a round-of-sixteen tie against Namibia – who scraped through to the knockouts after finishing as one of the best third-placed sides in the competition.

ANG: Neblú; Carneiro, Buatu Mananga, Gaspar, Melo Afonso; Estrela, Show, Fredy; Muondo Dala, Paciência, Vieira

NAM: Kazapua; Hanamub, Haukongo, Amutenya, Kamberipa; Katua, Petrus; Hotto, Tijueza, Muzeu; Shalulile

Angola’s chances of progression looked to take a colossal blow after just 17 minutes of action, when goalkeeper Neblú was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside of his box. It was a necessary intervention, with a defensive mishap from Kialonda Gaspar leaving Namibia’s Bethuel Muzeu through on goal.

Stepping in to replace Neblú, Antonio Dominique was called upon almost immediately to save a fierce free-kick effort from Deon Hotto – which would come as one of Namibia’s final chances, with the talismanic Prins Tijuenza soon forced off through injury.

His withdrawal allowed Angola to take control, with Fredy setting up the opener as he squared the ball into the box for Muondo Dala to tap home. The opening goal came just minutes before Namibia’s Lumen Haukongo was shown a second yellow card, exploiting further spaces in the underdogs’ defence.

And it took just two minutes for Muondo Dala to capitalise on that, as the forward latched onto another pinpoint delivery from Fredy to smash home his fourth goal of the tournament – this time with a headed effort.

Embed from Getty Images

Fredy and Muondo Dala combined again shortly after the hour mark, though the goalscorer selflessly opted to pick out Mabululu rather than attempting to complete his hat-trick. It was a decision that paid off for the Angolan side, with Mabululu going on to curl past Lloyd Kazapua to put one foot in the quarterfinals.

With their progression now all but confirmed, Angola continued to search for additional goals through Jonathan Buatu and Zito Luvambo – but they were denied by the goalkeeper and the crossbar respectively. A first-ever win in the knockout stages of AFCON sees Angola progress to the quarterfinals.

Kazapua made a good stop to deny Angola a fourth goal in the 72nd minute as he saved Jonathan Buatu’s header following a corner, and substitute Zito Luvumbo rattled the crossbar with a long-range effort in stoppage time.

Angola, having topped Group D, registered their first ever knockout win at an Afcon finals, with their previous two quarter-final appearances coming when the tournament had 16 teams.

Despite being knocked out Namibia can take plenty of positives from their campaign, which saw the Brave Warriors register a first ever finals win – a memorable 1-0 victory over Tunisia – and reach the knockout stage for the first time in their history