The Super Eagles on Sunday qualified for the semifinals of the Morocco 2018 African Nations Championship after beating Angola 2-1 after extra time in Tangier.
Goals from Anthony Okpotu and Gabriel Okechukwu, after Angola had gone ahead through Vladimir Antonio, gave Nigeria the victory. They will meet Sudan in Wednesday’s semifinal in Marrakech.
Nigeria assistant coach Salisu Yusuf, who is in charge of the CHAN assignment, kept faith with his 4-3-3 formation as Ikechukwu Ezenwa remained in goal, Ikouwem Udoh, Osas Okoro, Stephen Eze and Kalu Orji were in the defence and Emeka Atuloma, Dayo Ojo and Rabiu Ali played in the midfield while Sunday Faleye, Emeka Ogbugh and Okpotu were in the attack.
Nigeria started the stronger side and could have gone ahead in the first minute when Faleye played Okpotu through but the Lobi Stars striker failed to beat Landu Mavanga in the Angolan goal. Nigerian defender Orji was replaced with Timothy Danladi after he got injured in a challenge.
The Eagles wasted chances after chance and allowed the Angolans to grow into the game. In the 18th minute, Angola had their first chance from a counterattack, which was saved with by Ezenwa.
Nigeria wasted more chances with Okpotu the main culprit as the first half wore on but the Angolans also failed to convert their chances. In the 34th minute, Ezenwa made a double save from Angolan forward Mano.
The Palancas Negras went ahead in the 55th minute after Timothy’s clearance hit Antonio. The Eagles poured out in search of the equaliser and wasted more chances. Salisu brought in Okechukwu for Faleye while Austine Oladapo replaced Ogbugh.
In additional time, Okpotu equalised to take the game to extra time after he slotted home from close range.
The extra time was dominated by Nigeria and in the 108th minute, Okechukwu scored the second goal to take Nigeria to the semifinals.