Lookman fires Nigeria into AFCON 2023 semis with win over Angola

Ahram Online , Friday 2 Feb 2024

Ademola Lookman scored again to fire Nigeria into the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win over Angola on Friday.

Nigeria s Ademola Lookman, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal during the African Cup of Nations quarterfinal soccer match between Nigeria and Angola, at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. 2024. AP


Victor Osimhen failed to score after having a goal ruled out for offside but produced another tireless performance to help the Super Eagles emerge victorious from the tournament’s first quarterfinal. They did not concede for the fourth straight game.

Nigeria needed goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali — back after being stretchered off in the win over Cameroon — to deny Angola forward Mabululu an early lead.

But Nigeria went on to dominate the game in terms of possession and chances, and Lookman finally scored in the 41st minute after Moses Simon skipped a challenge and raced clear to set him up.

It was Lookman’s third goal of the tournament after scoring both against Cameroon.

Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong urged his teammates to concentrate after making a clearance to deny Estrela an immediate response.

The Super Eagles maintained their dominance after the break, but Osimhen inadvertently impeded a good chance for Calvin Bassey and missed several late chances of his own.

The Napoli star thought he’d sealed the win with a header to Lookman’s free kick in the 75th, but the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

Nigeria reverted to a 5-4-1 formation with Osimhen alone up front as the Sable Antelopes probed for an equalizer.

Angola substitute Zini went closest when he hit the post.

Guinea was playing Congo in the second quarterfinal later. Guinea won its first-ever Africa Cup knockout game to get there, while Congo is yet to win a game in normal time in this tournament as it bids for its first title since 1974.

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