Petro de Luanda skipper Tiago Azulao says the team is excitedly waiting for their
maiden bow in the African Football League (AFL) as they prepare to take on South
African giants Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter finals.
Azulao says they are keen to show their worth as Petro, and compete amongst 11
other big clubs on the continent and he notes that they are determined to go all the
way and battle for the maiden crown.
“This is a great club and we will always want greatness. It is a new challenge, we
know it is going to be difficult because we are playing against other big clubs in
the continent, but as players we are looking at it as something that will really
improve our football,” said the 35-year old forward.
He added; “We may not be considered as the biggest in the Continent but we want
to do something to surprise, even those watching this league.”
Petro are Angola’s most successful club, having won the Girabola 17 times
including the last two consecutively. Azulao hopes that they can mirror this same
success in their performances at the inaugural edition of the AFL, promising to
showcase their beautiful ‘Samba Style’ football.
“The style that Petro adopted in the last two years with our coach Alexandre is of a
team that likes to control the game and likes to keep the ball. We like to attack, we
are not a defensive team. This is what we want to showcase in the tournament,”
noted the Brazilian.
He says the AFL will be an opportunity for Africa to show itself to the world, and
the players to also market themselves.
“The AFL is that magic that can give us greater exposure to the world and those
following this league. The opportunity we have as players is to show the world that
there are great players, beautiful football and great organization and that is what
we want with this league; to show the beauty of Africa through football,” Azulao
The Angolans will play South Africa’s Sundowns in the quarters in October, and
victory will sail them to the semis where a date with either Egypt’s Al Ahly or
Tanzania’s Simba awaits.
“We know Sundowns very well because we have faced them before in the
Champions League. We will take time to study them very well before we play
them and get a good plan for victory,” he noted.
Azulao, the top scorer of the CAF Champions League in the 2021-22 season hopes
he can sprinkle some of that magic in this year’s AFL and steer Petro to success.