PORT SAID, Egypt, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Angola, comprehensively beaten in their opening Nations Cup outing by Cameroon, say the tournament kicks off for real for them when they face Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday.
Angola, surprise qualifiers for the World Cup, are unperturbed by Saturday's 3-1 defeat and believe they still can qualify from Group B providing they get a good result against the Simbas in Cairo.
Coach Luis Oliveira Goncalves said that Cameroon are in a different class from the rest of the group and that he did not realistically expect his team to beat them.
'We're not worried because I think Cameroon are going qualify from this group and the battle is between us, Congo and Togo to see who joins them,' he said.
'Cameroon are a much stronger side than the others, we knew that before the competition started. If we don't get a good result against Congo, then we will be worried.'
Angola's performance at the tournament is under close scrutiny as some sceptics have questioned whether they are good enough to hold their own in Germany.
Their World Cup preparations suffered another blow on Monday when FIFA announced that defender Yamba Asha, who failed a doping test after the World Cup qualifier in Rwanda in October, had been banned for nine months, ruling him out of the trip to Germany.
The substance has not been revealed.
Congo kicked off with a surprisingly comfortable 2-0 win over Togo, inspired by an impressive performance from captain Lomana LuaLua who scored one goal and set up the other.
However, the Congolese have also suffered their usual bout of infighting.
They threatened not to face Togo, claiming they had not received any of their bonus payments, and only agreed to take the field around six hours before kickoff.