Sudan set for CHAN semi-final
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Feb 22, 2011 - 7:22:35 AM
Sudan set for CHAN semi-final
Sudan are aware that their goalscoring must improve if they are to beat Angola in the semi-final of the African Nations Championship on Tuesday.
The hosts have struck just three goals in four matches in the tournament.
Sudan needed a penalty shootout to oust 10-man Niger at the weekend.
"The problem is partly due to the mentality of my players who want to score classic goals in front of the home crowd," coach Mohamed Abdallah Ahmed admitted.
Algeria 0-1 Tunisia (second half)
1730 GMT: Sudan v Angola
"Missing scoring opportunities is a worrying phenomenon of football in our country. We create lots of chances but find it difficult to place the ball in the net," he lamented.
Mudathir Eltaib scored twice for Sudan in the group stage and each goal was worth three points, but some misses by the 24-year-old from Hilal against Niger defied belief.
Angola, the only semi-finalists not to have won an African senior national team title, have also found goals hard to come by with a meagre three from four outings and two of those were against lowly Rwanda.
But the team from the oil-rich south-west nation did pull off the surprise of the quarter-finals by eliminating Cameroon on penalties after 120 tedious, goalless minutes.
Lito Vidigal, the fourth coach of Angola since 2009 after Portuguese Manuel Jose, Frenchman Herve Renard and Zeca Amaral quit, concedes that his team have not set alight a tournament restricted to home-based footballers.
"We have worked really hard to reach the semi-finals. I accept that the team has not played very well so far but the most important thing is that we are still in contention for the title.
"A positive mentality has been a big factor. Our stoppage-time equaliser against Tunisia proves that we never give up. We trailed in that game for a long time but the players responded very well."
The clash between Sudan and Angola will be preceded by a North African showdown featuring Algeria and Tunisia on the artificial Khartoum Stadium pitch.
Tunisia boast the most impressive record among the four survivors, winning three consecutive games after conceding a late equaliser against the Angolans and their 7-2 goal tally is the best.
Coach Sami Trabelsi has achieved success by building his team around stars from the 'big four' of Tunisian club football -- former African champions Club Africain, Esperance and Etoile Sahel plus CS Sfaxien.
Algeria held Sudan goalless to confirm their title credentials and outfoxed South Africa, whose motley mix of third-tier league footballers had shredded the form book by winning all three group games.
Hadj Aissa, one of 11 Entente Setif stars in the squad, has proved a potent 'impact' player when introduced as a second-half substitute while three-goal El Arabi-Hilal Soudani is joint leading scorer in the championship.
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