The knockout stage of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations gets started this weekend. Look ahead to the first last-16 tie with our Angola vs Namibia prediction and preview.

Angola vs Namibia: Pre-Match Facts

  • Angola are favourites to reach the quarter-finals from this tie, winning in 90 minutes in 43.8% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations.
  • This is only the second meeting between Angola and Namibia at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations; the first was a 3-3 draw in the 1998 group stage.
  • Angola and Namibia haven’t met in any competition since a November 2015 friendly at the Estádio 11 de Novembro, won 1-0 by Angola.
  • This is only Angola’s third ever match in knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations – their other two were quarter-final defeats in 2008 (1-2 vs Egypt) and 2010 (0-1 vs Ghana).
  • Namibia are featuring in the AFCON knockout stages for the first time. They’ve only won one of their 12 group stage matches at the AFCON (D3 L8), with that coming on MD1 this year against Tunisia.
  • Angola have won two matches at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the first time they’ve ever won two games at one edition and the first time they’ve won back-to-back games in the tournament. The six goals they netted in this year’s group stages were as many as they scored across the 2012, 2013 and 2019 tournaments combined (6 in 9 games).
  • Namibia qualified for this year’s AFCON knockout stages as one of the four best third-place teams; they scored just one goal and had a goal difference of -3, becoming only the seventh side to progress from a group despite netting just one goal.
  • Only Tanzania (12) had fewer shots in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations group stage than Namibia managed (22). Indeed, of the 16 qualified teams, only Mauritania (17) faced more shots on target in the groups than Namibia did (14).
  • In the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations group stage, Namibia completed the fewest passes (545) and were the only side with a passing accuracy lower than 70% across their three games (67.5%).
  • Angola have had four different scorers at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Mabululu, Gelson Dala, Gilberto, Zine), their joint most at a single edition along with 1998 (Lázaro Oliveira, Paulo Jorge Da Silva, Miguel Pereira and Quinzinho).
  • Both Mabululu and Gelson Dala have two goals apiece for Angola at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations. Only two players have ever netted three goals at one edition for Angola: Manucho (4 in 2008, 3 in 2012) and Flávio (3 in 2006, 3 in 2010).

Match Preview

Angola and Namibia get the knockout stage of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations started on Saturday at Stade Bouaké, and it’s fair to say both have exceeded expectations in getting this far.

At 117 and 115 respectively, Angola and Namibia were two of the lowest FIFA-ranked teams to reach the tournament, with only Gambia (126) and Tanzania (121) below them among the nations to qualify.

They both then commendably came through tough groups. Angola topped Group D as they went unbeaten, drawing with Algeria – one of the pre-tournament favourites – on Matchday 1 before back-to-back wins over Mauritania and Burkina Faso, the latter of whom have reached the semi-finals at least in three of the past five AFCON tournaments.

Angola vs Burkina Faso xG race

Namibia had to come through as one of the best third-place finishers, though their progression was no less of an achievement. Many considered them rank outsiders in a Group E that also contained Tunisia, Mali and South Africa. A dramatic 1-0 win over Tunisia on Matchday 1 was ultimately vital, with Deon Kavendji’s 88th-minute header putting them on the path to the knockouts. A heavy 4-0 defeat to Bafana Bafana followed and did put their position in doubt, particularly considering it damaged their goal difference, but they finished the opening section of the tournament by drawing 0-0 with Mali. That was enough for both to progress.

Namibia vs Mali xG map

The defeat of Tunisia was also Namibia’s first ever victory at the AFCON and means they’ve already broken new ground at this level, having never been beyond the group stage as an independent nation.

Angola do have a little more pedigree as they reached the quarter-finals in 2008 and 2010, but victory on Saturday would see them equal that record and give them a chance of reaching a first semi-final.

The stakes have rarely – if ever – been higher for these countries at the Africa Cup of Nations, but dreams of glory will be extinguished for one of them this weekend.

Angola vs Namibia Head-to-Head

Despite neither side having a particularly extensive AFCON history, Angola and Namibia have faced each other in the tournament before.

During Namibia’s maiden appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1998, they came up against Angola – themselves only appearing for a second time then – in the group stage.

If Saturday’s meeting is anywhere near as entertaining as that encounter then we’ll have treated as they played out a 3-3 draw. Namibia were twice two goals to the good, but Angola fought back and eventually rescued a point through Miguel Pereira’s 86th-minute equaliser.

Even if Namibia had held on to the win, they still wouldn’t have made it through to the knockouts as they were soundly beaten by South Africa in their final group game then, Benni McCarthy scoring all four goals in a 4-1 win for Bafana Bafana.

Angola vs Namibia Prediction

Angola vs Namibia Opta Analyst match prediction

The Opta supercomputer considers Angola favourites for this one as they won 43.8% of the 10,000 pre-match simulations in normal time.

We’ve seen many more one-sided predictions in this tournament, however, with Namibia’s 30.4% win rate in the simulations suggesting this could be a close contest; the game went to extra time 25.8% of the time.

Either way, both sides will be thrilled to have even made it this far. In our pre-tournament predictions, these two were rated as having the joint-smallest chance of going all the way, doing do in 0.5% of the 10,000 simulations.

Both have seen boosts since then, and below you’ll find the up-to-date, current chances of progression through the knockouts.

Angola vs Namibia Squads

Angola: Neblú, Kadú, Gelson, António Signori, Eddie, Jonathan Buatu, Inácio Miguel, Tó Carneiro, Kialonda Gaspar, Kinito, Núrio Fortuna, Fredy, Bruno Paz, Manuel Keliano, Beni, Show, Estrela, Gelson Dala, Mabululu, Milson, Depú, Loide Augusto, Gilberto, Chico Banza, Jérémie Bela, Zine, Zito Luvumbo. 

Coach: Pedro Gonçalves 

Namibia: Edward Maova, Kamaijanda Ndisiro, Lloyd Kazapua, Ivan Kamberipa, Denzil Haoseb, Ryan Nyambe, Kennedy Amutenya, Riaan Hanamub, Lubeni Haukongo, Charles Hambira, Aprocius Petrus, Joslin Kamatuka, Petrus Shitembi, Deon Hotto, Ngero Katua, Ananias Gebhardt, Absalom Iimbondi, Marcell Papama, Bethuel Muzeu, Peter Shalulile, Prins Tjiueza, Wendell Rudath, Uetuuru Kambato. 

Coach: Collin Benjamin 

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