Preview: Mexico v Angola

Mexico and Angola meet for the first time in history as Group D springs back into action in Hanover on Friday night.

    Game one hero: Omar Bravo at shooting practice

    After an even start with Iran in their opening match in Nuremberg, Mexico finished the stronger and lead their group on goal difference ahead of Portugal.

    Angola played an inspirational match in Cologne against former colonial rulers Portugal, and can go into their second ever World Cup Finals match with their heads held high.

    "My players played with pride but we are a humble team," said Angola coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves.

    "Our aim is to complicate the life of the major footballing powers here."

    Although Portugal will argue that they had the match against Angola all under control, it would have only taken a moment of brilliance from the likes of star strikers Akwa or Mantorras to change the game.

    Angola: In line for a big match

    The 'Black Antelopes' also stood up well in midfield against the Portuguese with the hard working Figueiredo and Ze Kalanga both having solid games.

    Mexican coach Ricardo La Volpe will be without target man Jared Borgetti for the rest of the group matches due to a leg injury sustained in the match against Iran, but even without the big Bolton forward Mexico have a wealth of options up front. 

    The Central Americans will be buoyed by the form of striker Omar Bravo who netted twice against the Iranians, and also that of Villareal forward Guillermo Franco who played well before being subbed off.

    Another ace in the Mexican pack is the Brazilian born Zinha who played an excellent cameo role in coming on as a substitute, scoring one goal and setting Bravo up for another.

    "I recognise the Mexicans are strong but we'll be trying to counter-balance a tough adversary," Goncalves added.

    It will indeed be another tough assignment for the African debutants as Mexico look to consolidate their lead at the top of the group table and go one step closer to a Round of 16 berth.

    But with their first World Cup Finals match now under their belts, the Angolans will want a taste of World Cup victory in their next encounter.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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