THE Nigerian Super Eagles edged Angola 1-0 in the quarter-final match played on Friday, February 2, to zoom into the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-finals in Côte d’Ivoire.
The match was played at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
Four minutes after the blast of the whistle by the referee, Angola called the Super Eagles’ goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali into action after Mabululu tapped the ball from a corner kick.
The Super Eagles keeper blocked the close-range effort to extend his fourth clean sheet since the beginning of the tournament.
Twenty minutes later, Nigeria explored tactical formation to dominate possession from the midfield to their opponents’ home but could not convert their chances.
But they broke the deadlock in the 41 minutes after Moses Simon speedily beat the Angola defender down the left to release a low cross to Ademola Lookman, who latched the ball into the net to give the Super Eagles the lead.
Lookman’s goal threw Nigeria’s supporters into wild jubilation. The Atlanta player has scored three goals in the tournament.
The first half ended 1-0 in favour of the Super Eagles.
The second half saw the determination of Angola to restore parity but their sublime finish hit the woodwork before an hour into the game.
In the 61 minutes, Moses Simon easily dazzled two players but had his shot blocked by onrushing defending.
Ten minutes later, Victor Osimhen nodded in the ball after connecting with Ademola Lookman’s free-kick, but his goal was disallowed by the Video Assistant Referees (VAR).
A few minutes into the end of the match, Nigeria wasted opportunities at the front of their opponents’ home.
But they maintained the lone goal till the end of regular time, making them the first team to qualify for the tournament’s semi-final.