The local Os Mambas of Mozambique are gearing up for another run in the African Nations championship CHAN.
The COSAFA representatives return to the tournament and have been drawn in Group A, alongside Ethiopia, Libya and hosts Algeria.
Ahead of the event and as part of our series the kick442.com team digest particular insides about the side chasing their first great run in the competition.
Journey to the finals
Mozambique started they campaign to the CHAN 2022, playing against Zambia. After a 0-0 draw, in Maputo the “Mambas” had a historical result in Lusaka, beating for the first time ever the “Chipolopolo” in a CHAN qualifying match. 0-1 was the result, with a Lau King goal.
In the last qualifying round, Mozambique didn’t win any of the two matches against Malawi. A 1-1 drawn in Lilongwe (Nelson Divressone scored the Mamba’s goal), put the qualification on Chiquinho Conde team’s hands. In Maputo with the Zimpeto Stadium crowded, Mozambique and Malawi had another draw, at that time with no goals. Nelson’s away goal was enough to get the ticket to Algeria.
Chiquinho Conde lead Mozambique to Algeria as one of the coaches managing the senior national team and the home based players team.
One of the most successful Mozambican players of all time, Conde took the Mambas coaching role in October 2021, replacing the Portuguese Horacio Gonçalves.
Mozambique were beaten by 3-0 against Cotê D’Ivoire in his debut in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier games. Few days later, the former Mozambique captain guided the team to his first victory, beating Malawi 1-0.
Fast track to the start of 2023, Mozambique is in with a realistic chance to qualify to 2023 AFCON.
Two games into the campaign in Group L, Mozambique is second, with four points after a goalless draw against Rwanda and a 1-0 victory away in Benin Republic.
Senegal is leading the group with six points. That’s a story for another day.
Conde started his coaching career in 2005 at Maxaquene. It was also the last team he played for in Mozambique before he moved to Portugal, in 1986.
He won twice the Mozambique National League, Moçambola in 2009 with Ferroviário de Maputo and 2007 as União Desportiva do Songo coach.
As a player, he was part of the Mozambique team that made the first three appearances in the AFCON (Egypt 1986, South Africa 1996 and Burkina Faso 1998).
As a coach, he will be making his debut in the CHAN dugout.
Number of appearances and results
Though they have been part of the all CHAN qualifying campaigns, since 2009, Mozambique will make only their second appearance in the finals in Algeria, after his debut in 2014.
In South Africa, Mozambique was in the same group with Nigeria, Mali and the hosts South Africa. All the three games started in the same way – scoring first.
Mozambique made his debut against South Africa in the opening match. Diogo scored the first goal of the competition, before a Bernard Parker brace and Hlompho Kekana goal did the job for the host.
Against Nigeria, in the second round, the Mozambique captain Dario Khan scored one of the best goals in the competition, through a free kick, but the CHAN Eagles scored twice in a space of two minutes. Mozambique reacted and equalized before the halftime.
Diogo scored his second in the competition, unfortunately in the second half, Nigeria scored twice again.
In the last game, Josemar opened the score line, seven minutes before the halftime.
For the first time the Mambas went to the interval leading, but the in second half, Mali scored twice.
13.01.2023 Ethiopia x Mozambique
17.01.2023 Mozambique x Lybia
21.01.2023 Mozambique x Algeria
Competition’s best scorer
Diogo Alberto is the Mozambique best scorer in the CHAN competition. The goal scorer in the 1-1 draw in Angola, who gave the Mozambique the qualification to the 2014 CHAN, Diogo kept his eyes in the goal in South Africa.
With all attention on the Cape Town Stadium, for the opening match, against the host country, Diogo shocked the South Africans, scoring eleven minutes after the kickoff. It was the first goal of the competition.
Despite the defeat (3-1) in the first game, Diogo didn’t came down. He scored the second goal, against Nigeria, in another defeat (4-2).
Aged of 33, Diogo still plays at home, representing Ferroviário de Nacala.
His two goals mean he is the country’s top scorer in the competition.
The Mozambique national team is the first to arrive Algeria for the CHAN 2022.
They touched down in Algiers this Friday December 30
📸: Nazim Bessol
— Angu Lesley (@angulesley442) December 30, 2022
Mozambique will make a second appearance in the competition, in Algeria.The first and only was in South Africa, in 2014.
They didn’t qualify for the knockout stage. Three defeats in three games left the team bottom of the group that had South Africa, Nigeria and Mali.
Isac de Carvalho is expected to detect the tone of the Mozambique team.
The 33-year-old is one of the three players in Mozambique who were in the 2014 CHAN squad, alongside Saddam Guambe (aka Kito) and Francisco Muchanga (Chico).
As a regular during the qualifier, Isac who was the top scorer of the Mozambique league last season. He scored 10 goals for Ferroviário de Nampula.
After a successful season in Nampula he is back at Costa do Sol, where as captain, he won the League title in 2019.
Nelson Divrassone is one of the players whose input in the team goes unnoticed by many.
He played an important role in the União Desportiva do Songo title success last season. He was a regular during the qualifier for this tournament, operating as a right winger.
Nelson scored the goal that gave Mozambique qualification for the CHAN 2022, in the 1-1 draw against Malawi in Lilongwe.
He also scored a goal that could have qualified Mozambique to the 2019 AFCON, if the Mambas didn’t concede a late goal in the 2-2 draw against Bissau Guinea in the last qualifying match.
Most Successful Clubs in domestic championship
Costa do Sol and Ferroviário de Maputo are the most successful clubs in the country.
Both clubs won 10 Moçambola titles. Their dominance took two decades, from 1989 to 2009, a period both sides won a combined 15 leagues crowns (eight to Ferroviário and seven to Costa do Sol).
The top four performances in the Mozambique championship is completed by Desportivo Maputo with six titles and Maxaquene with 5.
However, those clubs are losing power in the recent years. Ferroviário de Maputo particularly only won once in the past 13 years while Costa do Sol, is the last champion between both teams – having won their first title in 12 years at the end of the 2019 season.
During this time other teams reduced the gap in the competition, starting from Liga Desportiva de Maputo, who won 4 titles in five years (between 2010 and 2014).
Most recently, União Desportiva de Songo has become a strong side too. With three titles, they are current champions, adding to back-to-back triumphs in 2017 and 2018.
Matchedje de Maputo with two titles and Textáfrica, Têxtil do Púnguè, Ferroviário de Nampula, Ferroviário da Beira and Associação Black Bulls, all of them with only title, are the others clubs that have won the competition.
Mozambique CHAN 2022 Squad:
Victor Guambe (24. Costa do Sol)
Ivan Urrubal ( 25. Black Bulls)
Fasistêncio João- (Ferroviário de Nampula)
Ifren Matola (26, União Desportiva de Songo, Bhéu Januário ( 29. União Desportiva de Songo), Fernando Macaime, (24 União Desportiva do Songo), Martinho Thauzene (23. Black Bulls),
Feliciano Jone (26. Black Bulls)
Domingos Macandza (24. Costa do Sol), Francisco Muchanga (Chico) (32. Costa do Sol), Danilo Muze (25. Costa do Sol
Amade Momade (26. União Desportiva de Songo), Dário Melo (26. União Desportiva de Songo) Shaquille Nangy (25. Ferroviário de Maputo), Saddan Guambe (38. Ferroviário de Maputo), (Ailton Macuacua (Yude) (25. Ferroviário de Maputo ), João Bonde ( 25. Ferroviário da Beira)
Isac de Carvalho (33. Ferroviário de Nampula),
Stélio Ernesto (Telinho) (34. Costa do Sol), Lau King (27. União Desportiva do Songo)
Nelson Divrassone (29. União Desportiva de Songo), Melque Alexandre, (25 Black Bulls), Melven Choi Ling (21. Ferroviário da Beira)
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