AFCON 2023: Lookman fires Nigeria past Angola to reach semi-finals

Abidjan, (CIV): Ademola Lookman’s first-half goal was just enough as Nigeria edged past Angola to reach the semi-finals of the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Nigeria dominated the early exchanges with Napoli striker Victor Osimhen denied by the crossbar from Lookman’s pinpoint cross.

But on the stroke of half-time, Moses Simon turned provider, slipping in Lookman who slotted calmly beyond goalkeeper Guilherme da Costa to give Nigeria the lead.

Angola almost equalised soon after the break when substitute Abrosini Salvador was sent through one-on-one but could only rattle the post with his effort.

The Palancas Negras continued to threaten, but Osimhen looked to have doubled Nigeria’s advantage against the run of play, rising highest to head in Lookman’s cross with 16 minutes left.

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But the effort was ruled out by the referee leaving the final minutes of the match at a high tempo.

The Super Eagles advance to the semi-finals for the 15th time as they continue their bid for a fourth African title, while Angola’s fairy-tale debut run comes to an end, but they can hold their heads high after matching some of the continent’s best teams.

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Nigeria faces the winner of Saturday’s quarter-final between Cape Verde and South Africa for a place in the final with the tie (Semi final) set for Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

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