Leeds United loanee Helder Costa scores on Angola debut after switching international allegiances

Leeds United loanee Helder Costa scored on his international debut for Angola in World Cup qualifying.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 13th November 2021, 2:01 pm

Costa - who is spending the 2021/22 campaign on loan away from West Yorkshire in La Liga with Valencia - was handed a first start for his new nation on Friday night amid the final international break of the year.

The 27-year-old forward scored the opening goal in a thrilling 2-2 draw with Egypt that featured Liverpool's Mo Salah in Group F of the African qualifiers.

Angola are bottom of the standings with four points from five games and have failed in their bid to reach next year's Qatar World Cup, which takes place in late November.

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The former Wolves man was capped once by Portugal in a 2018 friendly against Scotland, but has switched allegiance to the country of his birth in the last year. FIFA eligibility rules say that friendly match appearances do not commit a player to one country.

Costa was called up earlier in the year to Angola's squad whilst at Elland Road though was unable to travel due to Covid restrictions.

Angola take on Libya next on Tuesday evening in their final qualifying match.

Leeds United loanee Helder Costa at Elland Road. Pic: Getty