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Ademola Lookman’s goal sent Nigeria into the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals as Victor Osimhen had a goal ruled out by VAR in a 1-0 win over Angola.
The Super Eagles edged an entertaining match at Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium but they nearly went behind in the fourth minute through Mabululu but goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili did well to keep his close-range effort out.
Up the other end, Napoli star Osimhen looped a header onto the roof of the net before former Fulham loanee Lookman swept home from 10 yards following a flowing team move in the 41st minute.
The Black Sable Antelopes were a whisker away from equalising just before the hour mark when Zini’s shot cannoned off the post as the game’s intensity went up a notch.
It looked like Pedro Goncalves’ men were 2-0 down when Osimhen headed in Lookman’s free-kick, but the goal was ruled out following a VAR review due to offside.
Osimhen and Zito Luvumbo went close for their respective sides late on but Nigeria held on for a deserved victory on Friday evening.
Former Leicester City loanee Lookman was at the heart of everything good Nigeria did against Angola. He was a threat with the ball at his feet, put in some dangerous deliveries and took his goal well. A very impressive display from the Atalanta man.
While he did not play badly, far from it, Angola forward Zini had his side’s best chance of the game when his shot from 12 yards hit the frame of the goal. On such fine margins are matches won and lost and this spurned opportunity proved costly.
Nigeria’s win means they are into the semi-finals of the tournament, where they will face either Cape Verde or South Africa, who play on Saturday in Yamoussoukro, on February 7. The final of the competition is four days later.