Nigeria edge past Angola to seal semis berth

Nigeria edge past Angola to seal semis berth
Sunday Adeyemi Faleye of Nigeria is challenged by Vladimir Etson Va of Angola during the ACHAN Quarterfinal match between Nigeria and Angola on 28 January 2018 at Grand Stade de Tanger, Tanger, Morocco Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Sunday Jan 28, 2018. 21:27

The Super Eagles booked their place in the final four of the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) with a 2-1 win over Angola at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier on Sunday.

Anthony Okpotu and Okechukwu Gabriel coming up with the goods for Nigeria in stoppage-time and extra-time respectively, after Vladimir Vá's opener on a cold evening in Morocco.

Victory sets up a semifinal clash against Sudan for Nigeria with victory in Marrakech on Wednesday to seal their place in the tournament showpiece.

Both teams squandered several chances throughout a pulsating two hours of football, with Okpotu especially guilty as he failed to find the back of the net after breaking straight through on goal within the opening 20 seconds of the clash.

Ikechukwu Ezenwa was then on hand to keep out Calesso Manu on three occasions as Angola recovered from a slow start, but Okpotu missed another chance just short of the break with his attempt cleared of the line by Braulino Nary in what was a end-to-end stanza.

Palancas Negras duly opened the scoring in the 55th minute as Vladimir Vá's shot deflected of Timothy Timothy and into the back of the net.

Everything seemed to be going Angola's way as Gabriel hit the woodwork in the 77th minute before he squandered another gilt-edged chance to level matters seven minutes later with the goal at his mercy.

The Super Eagles finally found the equalizer in stoppage time as Okpotu poked home from a free-kick before Gabriel's winner in the 109th minute of the clash.

The forward weaved his way past two Angolan defenders before firing home a left-footed shot into the back of the net from the edge of the area to send the Super Eagles fans into delirium, and Nigeria into the semis.

Nigeria (0) 2 (Okpotu 90+1' Gabriel 109')

Angola (0) 1 ( Vá 55')

Angola: Landu; Tó, Wilson, Nary, Mira - Herenilson (Celson 90'), Vá, Manguxi (Almeida 81') - Mano, Job (Paty 63'), Fofó.

Nigeria: Ezenwa; Ikouwem, Orji (Timothy 13'), Eze, Osas - Ojo, Atuloma, Ali - Ogbugh (Oladapo 60'), Faleye (Gabriel 59'), Okpotu.

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