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Super Eagles Face Challenging Path Against Angola



Super Eagles Face Challenging Path Against Angola

Today, the Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to clash with the Palancras Negras of Angola in one of the quarter-final matches at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.

The match is certainly going to be a thriller. It will not be an easy one for the Super Eagles. This is because the Nigerian side had met Angola in previous six competitive encounters spanning between 1989 and 2018.

Nigeria and Angola have met six times in competitive football and the statistics shows the Super Eagles have won two of such encounters, with Angola winning one. The other three matches ended in a draw. Today will be the seventh time the two countries will be meeting in competitive football.

The Super Eagles have had thorny roads against Angola in previous matches.

In January 1989, the Super Eagles played Angola in a World Cup qualifying match in Luanda and the match ended 2-2.

In the second leg in August of that same year in Lagos, tragedy occurred. Samuel Okparaji, plying his trade in Europe then suddenly collapsed on the pitch and died. The Nigerian side won that match by 1-0, but it was overshadowed by Okparaji’s death. Moreover, Cameroon qualified for the Italian 90 at the expense of Nigeria.

In June 2004, Nigeria and Angola met again in a World Cup qualifying match in Luanda. Angola stopped Nigeria by 1-0. The second leg in Lagos in June 2005, the Super Eagles needed to win that match to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Angola forced Nigeria to a 1-1 draw and they qualified for the World Cup at the expense of Nigeria.

The Super Eagles met the Palancras Negras in January 2012 in an International Friendly match and it was goalless.

The last encounter between the two sides was in the quarter-finals of 2018 AFCON. The match ended 2-1 in favour of the Super Eagles. Angola had opened scoring in the 56th minute through Va, but Nigeria equalised two minutes into added time through Anthony Okpotu to drag the match into extra-time. Gabriel Okechukwu scored in the 109th minute to give Nigeria 2-1 win and zoomed into the semi-finals that year.

Today’s encounter will not be an easy road for Nigeria. In getting to the quarter-finals, the Super Eagles played 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea, beat Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 and defeated Guinea Bissau by a lone goal., amassing seven points to come second in Group A. The Nigerian side were written off, but a dominant performance against Cameroon in the Round of 16 which they won 2-0 has raised the hope that they may move on to the final.

The Angolans have been a free-scoring side. They played 1-1 draw against Algeria, beat Mauritanian 3-2 and defeated Burkina Faso 2-0. In the Round of 16, they thrashed Namibia 3-0 to reach the quarter-finals. Angola have never progressed to the semi-finals of any AFCON tournament. They will be hoping to better their performance by reaching the semi-finals today.

In this tournament so far, the Super Eagles have the meanest defence so far, conceding only one goal from the group stage to the Round of 16. Victor Osimhen and Ademola Lookman are the stars to watch out for in today’s match.

The star to watch out for in Angola’s team is Gelson Dala. He has registered four goals in the tournament so far. Another star to look out for is Mabululu who has scored three goals so far.

The Super Eagles must leave no room for error in today’s match. They must be clinical in attack and be solid at the back as usual.

See head-to-head below