Angola appoint new coach ahead of CHAN

Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Angola have appointed a new national coach just weeks before they head off to play in the African Nations Championship in Morocco, with 44-year-old Srdjan Vasiljevic replacing Brazilian Beto Bianchi.

Vasilijevic becomes the 30th Angolan head coach since the nation's independence in 1975, and the first Serbian to take the reins of the Southern African side.

Bianchi had been handling the national team job in an interim capacity alongside his role as trainer of Luanda club Petro Atletico, but stepped down last month despite qualifying the Palancas Negras for the continental championship for home-based players.

The Serbian was formerly an assistant with the Serbia national team under both Vladimir Petrovic and Radovan Cucic, and also head of youth at the country's biggest club, Red Star Belgrade.

He has also coached in the Serbian top flight with his last job being at FK Javor Ivanjica, which he left in September.

Vasiljevic will use compatriot Miroslav Maksimovic, previously coach of the Petro Atletico academy and Angolan Silvestre Pelé as his two assistants.

Angola compete in Group D at CHAN 2018 with matches in Agadir against Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Congo.

Bianchi is staying at Petro after finishing runner-up in the GiraBola to arch rivals Primeiro Agosto and winning the Angolan Cup. He was rewarded with a two-year contract extension last month and is set to oversee Petro's campaign in the CAF Confederation Cup next year.