By Kayode Ogundare:
Primeiro D’Agosto of Angola’s Nigerian-born playmaker Ibukun Akinfenwa will put team glory above personal honours as his team attempts to win the double when they file out against eternal rivals Petro Atletico Luanda in the final of the 36th edition of the Taça de Angola or the Angola Cup on Saturday at the Estádio 11 de Novembro, Luanda.
Ibukun, who’s the reigning Angolan league’s best foreign player is optimistic of annexing the Cup to cap an eventful season for himself.
“We have worked very hard to reach the final and we are not willing to let go now having come this far. It won’t be easy because we know Petro Atletico very well. They have good players and are our direct rivals but we’ll give this our all and come out victorious,” he said.
Primeiro D’Agosto, which retained it’s league crown by pipping Petro to the Girabola title last weekend by a three-point margin be facing Petro Atletico for the third time this season.
Ibukun had an extended time out on the sidelines with injury but is grateful to be able to bounce back in time to help Primeiro win an 11th league title.
He said: “The injury really affected my participation this season but I’m glad I came back fully fit. Now I want to repay the club’s faith in me by giving my all on Saturday. We are going for victory.”
In the first meeting between both sides, they battled to a 0-0 goalless draw but Primeiro won the reverse fixture 1-0 as they cantered to a successful defence of their title.
To reach the final, Primeiro defeated Progress 3-2 aggregate in the semifinals, squeezed past Interclube 2-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals but required something of a miracle to overcome Academica Lobito 5-3 on aggregate, needing a 4-0 win away after losing 3-1 at home in the second round.
On their part, Atletico edged Bravo Maquis 1-0 over two legs in the semi-finals, defeated Rita de Cassia 3-2 aggregate in the quarter finals while they walked over second division side JGM in the Round of 16.
Primeiro last won the Cup in 2009 while Petro were last champions in 2013.