Affiliated to FIFA in 1980, Mozambique wasted no time in entering the FIFA World Cup™ preliminary competition. And shortly after being admitted as a fully fledged member of the international football family, the Mambas proudly took the field for their first FIFA World Cup match, which they lost 5-2 in Zaire. Two weeks later, they played the same opponent at home, this time losing 2-1.
A two-competition break followed, before the side participated in the qualifying competition for USA 1994. Drawn into a group with Senegal and Gabon, the southern African team picked up only a point from a draw at home against Gabon and were knocked out. Four years later fellow footballing minnows, Namibia, surprisingly kept the upper hand over the two-legged tie and once again the Mozambican FIFA World Cup dream had come to an end.
In the qualifying competition for Korea/Japan 2002, Mozambique finally managed to pick up their first FIFA World Cup victory when they beat Sudan 2-1 at home, but a 1-0 defeat in Sudan still meant the former Portuguese colony was knocked out on the away goal rule.
In the African pre-preliminary qualifying rounds for Germany
2006, Mozambique were drawn against Guinea and again the opponents
proved too tough a nut to crack as a 1-0 defeat in Conakry was
followed by a 4-3 defeat at home and even the fact that the
Mozambicans were involved in the most exciting match of the return
legs offered little or no comfort to Mozambican football fans
craving for a second win in the FIFA World Cup.
They bid again in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign having being named by FIFA as the best mover in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings in 2007. But Dutch coach Mart Nooij's work over the last year will be severely tested by a tough group, which includes the highly-rated Ivorians and fast-improving Botswana.