- Key Moments:
- 4th minute: Angola threaten early with a corner.
- 8th minute: Nigeria respond with a well-orchestrated attacking move.
- 41st minute: Ademola Lookman scores the only goal of the game.
- 58th minute: Angola come close to equalizing, but their shot hits the post.
- 75th minute: Victor Osimhen’s goal is ruled out for offside.
Abidjan, February 2, 2024 – The Super Eagles of Nigeria booked their place in the semi-finals of the 34th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a narrow 1-0 victory over the Palancas Negras of Angola at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan on Friday.
The match started with a bang, as Angola threatened early with a corner in the 4th minute. Nigeria responded four minutes later with a well-orchestrated attacking move of their own.
The first 30 minutes were a tight affair, with both teams evenly matched. However, the deadlock was broken in the 41st minute when Ademola Lookman fired a precise left-footed shot past Angolan goalkeeper Antonio Signori.
The Super Eagles went into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead, having looked the more dangerous side in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
Angola came out with all guns blazing in the second half and nearly equalized in the 58th minute, but their shot rattled off the right post of Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali.
The Palancas Negras continued to press for an equalizer, but the Super Eagles defended resolutely and held on for the win.
At the 73rd minute mark, Angola had 51.5% possession, while Nigeria had 48.5%.
In the 75th minute, Nigeria had a chance to extend their lead when Victor Osimhen found the net, but the goal was ruled out for offside by Senegalese referee Djibril Camara.
Angola threw everything they had at Nigeria in the final minutes, but the Super Eagles stood firm and secured their place in the last four of the competition.
The victory was Nigeria’s 12th semi-final appearance at the AFCON, and they will now face the winner of the match between DR Congo and Guinea, which will be played later on Friday.
Nigeria’s victory was hard-fought, but they deserved to win in the end. They were the more dangerous side in attack and created the better chances. Angola showed great determination and fighting spirit, but they lacked the quality in the final third to get back into the game.