Angola – Match Report vs Comoros (05/07/2022)

In their first match of the COSAFA Cup Angola had an easy time versus Comoros. The Angolan side, led by Portuguese manager Pedro Goncalves, lined up in a 4-3-3 with with Herenilson as the single defensive midfielder against Comores who started in a 4-2-3-1. From the first minute, it was Angola who dominated the game. Comoros had to drop back far, playing more of a 5-3-2 and saw the Angolans dominate possession. A few minutes before halftime midfielder Megue opened the score through a very nice free kick. After Angola scored a second goal in the second half, Angola slowed down the tempo of the game completely. Both teams ended up scoring one more goal, which ended the game with a score of 3-1.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Mário Balbúrdia

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Angolan
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 19/08/1997
  • Current Club: 1º de Agosto
  • Career: 1º de Agosto
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Mário Balbúrdia was playing as one of the three central midfielders, just playing in front of Herenilson together with Megue. Bulbúrdia started as the left-sided central midfielder but he and Megue were constantly moving around and rotating to either side. Balbúrdia played a solid match but was taken off by his Goncalves after 62 minutes, not too long after he picked up a yellow card.

Transfermarkt and Wyscout say he stands at 1.75m, but I don’t think that is very accurate seeing the Angolan side during the anthems. Seeing that he was one of the taller players, after the two centre backs and the goalkeeper, I would estimate him around 1.80m. The rest of his physical attributes were quite hard to properly judge based on this match. It looked like he had quite an athletic build, but he barely featured in any physical duels, on or off the ball. Angola completely dominated possession and in the hour that Balbúrdia played Comoros barely had the ball on Angola’s half. Angola would press quite high up the pitch at times and Balbúrdia did well anticipating the next pass by positioning himself well.

On the ball, Balbúrdia had a lot more chances to show himself this game. The 24-year-old mixed up his positioning a lot, depending on where his teammates would go. Sometimes you could find him just in behind striker Julinho and on different occasions, he would drop back all the way as a third-centre back to lead the build-up. Balbúrdia was quite active in Angola’s build-up collecting the ball from one of his centre backs and then finding a forward or lateral pass. He showed great composure on the ball, which is something not a lot of players on the pitch had. When he popped up in the final third he linked up well with his teammates, playing some smart first-touch passes.

Rating – A1

I will definitely watch Balbúrdia later on in this tournament when Angola face some better sides, to see if he can reach this level as well in those matches. Based of this I definitely think he could be an interesting player to watch for some of the lower-table sides in the Portuguese league.

Simone Lépua

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Angolan
  • Age: 22
  • Date of Birth: 23/12/1999
  • Current Club: Grupo Desportivo Sagrada Esperança
  • Career: Own (Y), Grupo Desportivo Sagrada Esperança
  • Position: Left Winger
  • Secondary Position: Right Winger, Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Simone Lépua got awarded the man of the match award after the game against Comoros. The 22-year-old winger started as left winger but on the right for a little bit in the second half as well. Lépua scored Angola’s second goal from a penalty after striker Julinho was fouled by the goalkeeper.

Lépua mostly occupied the left half-space this match and would almost always sit position himself quite narrow and the times that he would receive the ball out wide he would try and cut in towards his right foot. In build-up, he would often even drop back as an extra central midfielder to help his team out. Although he didn’t often lose the ball when doing this, I also don’t think it added a lot to Angola’s game. The few times he made a run in behind the opponent’s defenders he was unlucky that the passes to him were poor. It were really the moments when Lépua would get the ball in the final third when he could make the difference. His output here was quite poor though. He put some crosses in with his right foot that weren’t very accurate and the couple of shots he had didn’t get dangerous.

The 22-year-old was one of the smallest players on the pitch, standing at 1.68m. However the Comoros really struggled to get him off the ball and often needed a foul. He displayed great agility and with his low centre of gravity he did really well, especially when he had the ball in midfield. Lépua showed to have good bursts of pace but his top speed on the ball didn’t look that high this match. Technically he looked quite good as well. He dribbled well in tight spaces and showed good first touches, but there were some phases in the match where he would make really sloppy mistakes, like misplaced short passes or touches that were too heavy.

Rating – B1

Lépua showed some things to be excited about, but I didn’t feel like he was complete enough for a possible move to Europe. He didn’t have a lot of impact in the final third and showed some poor concentration against Comoros.

Joaquim Kinito

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Angolan
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 13/03/1998
  • Current Club: Petro Luanda
  • Career: GD Interclube, Domant FC (Loan), Petro Luanda
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Joaquim Kinito, or Quinito as it’s written in some places, played as the left-sided centre back in Angola’s 4-3-3. The 24-year-old had a pretty easy night at the office and played a good match, against a poor Comoros side. Physically Kinito looked really impressive. Standing at 1.87m with an athletic build, Kinito isn’t a defender a lot of attackers would like to play against. The Angolan defender showed a good mix of patience and aggression in his defensive duels and didn’t get dribbled past once this match. Aerially the defender couldn’t show a lot this match but in the one defensive aerial duel he had, he came out on top. Angola played a very high defensive line most of the match, dropping back slightly after scoring their second goal, and Kinito looked very comfortable in it. Comoros didn’t really manage to get balls in behind him, but he showed that he is pretty fast so it shouldn’t be a problem for him.

Angola managed to concede a goal almost right after their third goal and although it wasn’t really Kinito’s fault, he probably should’ve dropped back instead, tracking their opponent’s number 9 on the right wing. After a lucky deflection he received the ball and played in Nassim Ali Mchangama, who scored.

Kinito saw a lot of the ball this game and did alright. Technically he isn’t a very special player but he showed a lot of confidence. When he saw the chance he would step out of the defensive line and in midfield with the ball, but as a right-footed player on the left his options were a bit limited. He looked quite composed on the ball but simply didn’t have the technical ability to do well in small spaces if Comoros decided to press him.

Rating – A2

Kinito was quite an interesting player to watch. It’s hard to say, as I didn’t see enough of him defensively but I think that he could do reasonably well if he could make the move to a lower-table Portuguese side.

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