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Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto: Filipe Nzanza reflects on a disappointing season

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Primeiro de Agosto, one of Angola’s football powerhouses, concludes the season without a single trophy and a missed opportunity to participate in African competitions next year. For head coach Filipe Nzanza, it’s a season marred by profound disappointment.

The primary ambition for Primeiro de Agosto was to clinch the Girabola title. However, their campaign fell drastically short, culminating in a disappointing seventh-place finish in the league standings.

This failure means they won’t feature in the prestigious CAF Champions League next season, a significant setback for the club.

Their hopes then turned to the National Cup as a potential redemption route, aiming for a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Yet, their aspirations were dashed in the semi-finals, suffering a 2-1 defeat to long-standing rivals Petro de Luanda.

Reflecting on the loss, Nzanza acknowledged the competitive nature of the match while lamenting missed opportunities.

“I believe we lacked some finishing touch, but overall, it was a good contest, a good spectacle,” he commented on the match.

The season’s outcome marks an unprecedented downturn for Primeiro de Agosto, as it’s the first time in 18 years that they won’t be participating in any African club competitions.

Nzanza, visibly disheartened by the club’s performance, described the season as one to forget. “We aimed for a higher finish in Girabola and had hoped to reach the cup final to salvage our season, but we fell short.

This is football; we’ll regroup and see what the future holds,” he remarked after the cup exit.

Despite his disappointment with the team’s overall performance, Nzanza couldn’t ignore the impact of officiating on their season.

While careful not to dwell on it extensively, he expressed concerns about refereeing decisions affecting their outcomes.

“The referees are human, and I prefer not to dwell on their performances too much, but there were contentious moments in Girabola and the Angola Cup.

These issues persist, but in football, we must continue working and look ahead,” Nzanza commented diplomatically.

Looking forward, Nzanza remains committed to rebuilding Primeiro de Agosto’s strength and competitiveness.

The club faces a crucial period of introspection and preparation as they aim to bounce back stronger in the upcoming seasons.

Nzanza’s resolve to address the team’s shortcomings and elevate their performance underscores his dedication to restoring Primeiro de Agosto’s stature in Angolan and African football.

As the club evaluates its season and plans for the future, Nzanza and his coaching staff are focused on regaining their winning form and competing at the highest levels both domestically and continentally.

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