Angola won its independence from Portugal in 1975. It was the beginning of a long civil war between different factions like the UNITA right wing rebels supported by the USA and South Africa and led by Jonas Savimbi, the MPLA supported by Cuba, Soviet Russia, and the Portugese Communist parties, and the FLNA supported by the US and Zaire. In October 1975, Cuban troops landed in Luanda, the capital of Angola to aid MPLA fighters against the South African backed UNITA rebels. After 27 years of civil war Angola saw the emergence of a fragile democracy with the MPLA heading the government with UNITA as the chief opposition party. Jonas Savimbi of UNITA was assassinated in 2002.
The present president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos is an MPLA activist. Angola maintains a very close relationship with their former colonisers, Portugal. The Angola 23 man roster has 8 players playing for Portugese clubs led by veteran Mantorras, who plays for Benfica. And midfielders Figueiredo and Mendoca who play for Varzim, Portugal.
But for the Angolans, victory over Portugal would indeed be sweet when both teams meet up in their Group D encounter on Sunday, June 11th.