Evergreen Elias Pelembe to captain Mozambique at 2023 AFCON

Evergreen Elias Pelembe to captain Mozambique at 2023 AFCON

Former Royal AM winger Elias Domingues Pelembe has been named captain of the Mozambique squad headed for a return to the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

The 40-year-old has been named in The Mambas' final 23-man squad for the continental championship in Ivory Coast, which will kick off on 13 January.

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Mozambique, who have not featured at an AFCON finals since the 2010 edition in Angola, qualified after beating Benin to finish as runners-up behind reigning champions Senegal in September.

Following his stint with Royal AM last season, Pelembe returned to his homeland with premier division side UD Songo after nearly 16 seasons in the Premier Soccer League, having also featured for SuperSport United, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Bidvest Wits to name a few.

The veteran attacker will now feature in only his second AFCON, having last played at the finals as a 26-year-old while still with The Brazilians 14 years ago.

Mozambique have been drawn in Group B and will open their campaign against 2021 AFCON runners-up Egypt in Abidjan on January 14, followed by clashes against Cape Verde and Ghana.

Catch the Bafana Bafana final squad announcement LIVE on SABC Sport on Thursday, 28 December at 15:00.

Full Mozambique Squad:

Goalkeepers: Ernan (UD Songo), Fazito (Ferroviario Nampula), Ivane (Associacao Black Bulls)

Defenders: Edmilson (Kaizer Chiefs), Infren (UD Songo), Bruno Langa (Chaves), Domingos Macandza (Costa do Sol), David Malembana (Noah), Mexer (Bandirmaspor), Nene (Associacao Black Bulls), Reinildo (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Alfons Amade (KV Oostende), Amadou (Ferroviario Beira), Clesio Bauque (Honka), Geny Catamo (Sporting Lisbon), Dominguez (UD Songo), Guima (Chaves), Joao (Ferroviario Beira), Gildo Lourenco (Sporting Covilha), Shaquille (Ferroviario Maputo), Witi (Nacional)

Forwards: Lau King (Sagrada Esperanca), Stanley Ratifo (CFR Pforzheim).