Nigeria secured a spot in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals with a narrow 1-0 victory over Angola in Abidjan.
Early Dominance and Lone Goal
The Super Eagles controlled the game from the start, with Napoli striker Victor Osimhen hitting the crossbar. Moses Simon set up Ademola Lookman just before halftime, who calmly slotted in the lone goal.
Angola’s Resilience and Near Misses
Angola, exceeding expectations, nearly equalized in the second half, with substitute Abrosini Salvador hitting the post. Despite continued threats, Nigeria’s lead stood firm.
Controversial Ruled-out Goal
Victor Osimhen seemed to double Nigeria’s advantage, heading in Lookman’s cross, but the referee ruled it out, keeping the match tense until the final whistle.
Angola’s Admirable Run Comes to an End
Nigeria advances to the semi-finals for the 15th time, aiming for their fourth African title. Angola’s fairy-tale debut run concludes, with the Palancas Negras matching some of the continent’s best teams.
Next Challenge and Coaches’ Reflections
Nigeria awaits the winner of the quarter-final between Cape Verde and South Africa for a place in the final. Coaches from both teams acknowledged the opposition’s strength and expressed satisfaction with their team’s performance.
Pedro Gonçalves (Angola): Acknowledged Nigeria’s strength, felt they could have won, and expressed pride in Angola’s unexpected quarter-final presence.
José Peseiro (Nigeria): Praised the team’s quality, acknowledged Angola’s resilience, and expressed satisfaction despite wanting more scoring opportunities.