The formidable and impressive run of the Super Eagles in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continues as they edged out Angola 1-0 to seal their semi-final slot.
Angola expressed their intent in the early stages of the game, with Mabululu Paciência free on goal but unable to find the back of the net from a set piece.
Stanley Nwabali’s strong left hand saved Nigeria from going behind.
Nigeria punished Angola’s lacklustre defence with Moses Simon’s smart move from the flanks, setting up Ademola Lookman, who blasted in a thunderous strike to give Nigeria the lead before halftime.
Lookman’s third knockout goal elevates him to the elite list of Nigerian players like Odion Ighalo, Rashidi Yekini, and Austin Okocha, who have scored three or more knockout goals.
The courageous and adventurous Nigerian team was compact defensively and purposeful in transition.Eddie Afonso, the Angolan left-back, took advantage of the space left behind.
The combination of Zaidu Sanusi and Lookman on the left wing was a menace for the Palancas Negras to contend with.
Aware of the scoring prowess of Gelson Dala, Jose Peseiro set up his defensive midfield to obstruct supply to the offensive players of the Palancas Negras.
Persecondnews reports that Peseiro played a 3-4-3 formation that morphs into 2-3-5 when on the front foot and switches back to 5-3-2 when out of possession.
Pedro Goncalves, the Angola coach, had no answers and could not match the tactical brilliance of his opposite numbers.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) switched Nigerian joy to despair after ruling out Victor Osimhen’s goal correctly for offside.
Since making their debut in the continental showpiece in Ghana in 1963, Nigeria has, with this evening’s victory, qualified for the semi-final.