The South Africa caretaker coach blooded Phakamani Mahlambi, Luther Singh and Diamond Thopola in the East London clash.
They were part of nine changes to the side that beat Guinea-Bissau 3-1 at the weekend.
And although the new-look team lacked cohesion, boss Da Gama says it was the Angolans’ negative tactics that kept Bafana goalless.
After the game, he said: “They obviously knew our type of football that we play, but they just depended on the counter-attack and it was ultra-defensive.
“We had to look at all the players. We had to give them an opportunity, but Angola were ultra-defensive. They were defending with six defenders at any given time.”
Da Gama saw his youngsters struggle with the close attention and sometimes physical intimidation by the visitors.
Striker Singh played with his back towards goal for most of the first half, while Mahlambi was involved in a battle down Bafana’s right-hand flank.
He says: “Second half, we dominated, we took control of the game but we just couldn’t get that one goal.”
Bafana did improve after the break when Da Gama hooked his debutants and brought on Keagan Dolly, Thulani Serero and Themba Zwane.
The overseas-based duo of Dolly and Serero threatened and were later joined by returning exile Kermit Erasmus.
Mamelodi Sundowns rising star Percy Tau impressed in his fourth international.