|Angola’s squad face a warm up against Estonia ahead of the tournament [GALLO/GETTY]|
With just under two weeks to the African Cup of Nations, hosts Angola have been dealt a blow with the news that captain Andre Makanga will miss the tournament after undergoing knee surgery, according to the Angolan Football Federation.
The midfielder, who had surgery earlier in the week in Portugal. will be out of action for 20 days, which rules him out of Africa’s premier footballing event which takes place between January 10 – 31.
The hosts will also be without veteran fullback Yamba Asha and Portuguese-based attacking midfielder Mateus.
Yamba Asha missed out on participating in Angola’s World Cup finals appearance in Germany in 2006 because of a drugs ban.
Angola, who play Estonia in a warm-up friendly on the Portuguese Algarve on Wednesday, open the tournament in Luanda on January 10 against Mali.
They will also take on Malawi and World Cup qualifiers Algeria in Group A of the tournament.
Speaking to Angolan press agencies, teammate Carlos Alonso ‘Kaly’ said on Sunday that the national squad were aware their responsibilities increased with the loss of Makanga, but remained positive about the performance of the squad due to the team’s strength and depth.
Goalkeepers: Carlos Fernandes (Rio Ave, Portugal), Lama (Petro Atletico), Wilson (Recreativo Caala)
Defenders: Dias Caires (Sagrada Esperanca), Enoque (Santos), Jamuana (Petro Atletico), Kali (Arles-Avignon, France), Mabina (Petro Atletico), Rui Marques (Leeds United, England), Stelvio (Uniao Leiria, Portugal)
Midfielders: David (Petro Atletico), Dede (Arles-Avignon, France), Djalma (Maritimo, Portugal), Gilberto (Al Ahli, Egypt), Job, Xara (both Petro Atletico), Ze Kalanga (Dinamo Bucharest, Romania), Zuela (Kuban Krasnodar, Russia)
Forwards: Flavio (Al Shabab, Saudi Arabia), Johnson Makaba (Recreativo Libolo), Love (Primeiro Agosto), Mantorras (Benfica, Portugal), Manucho (Real Valladolid, Spain)