AFCON 2023: 5 things we learnt as Super Eagles beat Angola to qualify for semi-final

Nigeria became the first country to qualify for the semi-final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations on Friday.

The Super Eagles beat Angola 1-0, thanks to a fine goal from Ademola Lookman.

Lookman arrived into the box to crash home a cutback from Moses Simon in the first half.

But what are the five things we learnt from the game?

1 . Lookman is making a name for himself: The Atalanta winger is now Nigeria’s top scorer at the tournament. His goal against the Palancas Negras was his third so far. Lookman has been decisive in the AFCON knockout stages, finding the back of the net twice as the Super Eagles dumped Cameroon out in the last 16.

2 . Aina, Zaidu, Ajayi poor: Although Nigeria recorded their fourth (consecutive) clean sheet of the tournament, some of their defenders were very poor against Angola. Ola Aina was not his usual reliable self, Ajayi was shaky and Zaidu was very poor. With the trophy in sight, the players in front of Nwabali have to be up for it.

3 . Osimhen desperately needs a goal: Another game where Victor Osimhen failed to score. Well, technically he had the ball in the net, but the goal was chalked off after a VAR check for offside. The Napoli hitman has only one goal so far. Although his contribution to the team has been immense, goals are what a striker lives for.

4 . South Africa or Cape Verde next: The Super Eagles’ next opponents will be either South Africa or Cape Verde. The two countries will face each other in their quarter-final clash on Saturday. Nigeria is no stranger to both of them, especially Bafana Bafana, who they have a strong rivalry with.

5 . Peseiro meets NFF’s target: The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, gave Jose Peseiro an ultimatum to reach the semi-final of the 2023 AFCON after he signed a contract extension last year. The Portuguese has now achieved that feat, despite a shaky start to the competition, mostly helped by his switch to a 3-4-3 tactical formation.

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