Wilson Eduardo: A potential threat for Zebras


Zebras will round off their Group I AFCON 2019 Qualification campaign against Angola at the Francistown Sports Complex this weekend. While Zebras were eliminated from AFCON contention, Angola still have a chance to qualify as one of the best second placed teams in the group stages.

Among those selected for the Angolan squad is Portugal based attacker Wilson Eduardo, a silky and fleet footed player who could light up the Francistown stadium if selected on the day of the game. Eduardo, who represented Portugal in the youth team structures, has recently elected to play for Angola having initially rejected them in 2013.

His club, SC Braga, is currently third on the Portuguese league (Primeira Liga) standings, they are behind serial title rivals Benfica and FC Porto (who are level on points at the top). Braga are only five points behind the Portuguese giants, they are well aware that if they catch up with one of the top two clubs they could qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Style of play

Eduardo has scored 12 goals and provided 6 assists in 33 games in all competitions for his club, SC Braga this season. Be it headers, long range strikes or making late runs into the box, Eduardo has it all in abundance.

He demonstrated his long range shooting in the 2016/2017 season as he scored from outside the box against one of Portugal’s biggest clubs, Sporting Lisbon. Eduardo received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and riffled a shot past Portugal’s number one goalkeeper Rui Patricio. His goal proved to be the deciding factor as Braga grabbed all three points against Sporting.

Despite being a year under 30, Eduardo still has a lot of pace and running power which he has used that to devastating effect in the Portuguese league, he has the ability to run at defenders and he is comfortable switching to wide areas if the system permits. Eduardo is a versatile player but he does the most damage in the box.

He also has a knack for taking long range shots and he has scored twice from long range this season. European data analysts suggest that he takes 2.5 shots per game while scoring a goal every 164 minutes, his average pass rate of 71 % indicates that he loses possession at times and that he is not a clinical passer.

The forward is also a good penalty taker, he is usually clinical from the spot as he has a calm technique which usually deceives goalkeepers as he likes to go for placement over power. He will be a tricky player to mark for any defender and Zebras defenders will have to be at their best to stop him from exerting his influence on the match.