Uncapped keeper Mario named in Angola World Cup squad
LUANDA, May 14: Third choice goalkeeper Mario was the only uncapped player included in Angola's 23-man World Cup squad named by coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves today.
Mario goes to Germany instead of previous third choice Goliath in one of five changes to the squad that went to January's African Nations Cup finals. Angola failed to make it past the first round of the continental tournament.
Goncalves, unwilling to take chances on unfit players, left out Gilberto of African champions Al Ahli and Maurito of Al Wahda.
Gilberto is battling to recover from an Achilles tendon injury he picked up in January, while Maurito recently injured his leg in an Asian Champions League game.
Angola were also unable to pick former Portuguese unior internationals Pedro Emanuel and Chainho because FIFA rejected the bid to change their eligibility.
The squad has two clubless players in goalkeeper Joao Ricardo, formerly with Portuguese side Moreirense but without a team since the end of last season and captain Akwa who was released by his Qatari club at the end of last year.
Angola are grouped with Portugal, Iran and Mexico at the finals in Germany and play their first match on June 11. They play Argentina in a warm-up friendly on May 30 in Salerno.
Squad: Goalkeepers: JoIao Ricardo (unattached), Lama (Petro Atletico), MDario (InterClube) Defenders: Delgado (Petro Atletico), Jamba (AS Aviacao), Kali (FC Barreirense, Portugal), Lebo Lebo (Petro Atletico), Loco (Primeiro Agosto), Marco Abreu (Portimonense, Portugal), Marco Airosa FC Barreirense, Portugal), Rui Marques (Hull City, England) Midfielders: AndrDe (Kuwait SC, Kuwait), Edson (Pacos Ferreira, Portugal), Figueiredo, Mendonca (Varzim, Portugal), Miloy (InterClube), ZDe Kalanga (Petro Atletico) Strikers: AkwDa (unattached), Andre Titi Buengo (Clermont Foot, France), FlDavio (Al Ahli, Egypt), Love (AS Aviacao), Mantorras (Benfica, Portugal), Mateus (Gil Vicente, Portugal).