In the 2023 AFCON quarter-finals, Nigeria is set to take on Angola in a highly anticipated clash at the Felix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan. As Nigeria seeks to reach the last four for the first time since 2019, they will confront an Angola side that has displayed unpredictability and confidence throughout the tournament.
In the round of 16, the Super Eagles secured a convincing 2-0 victory over arch-rivals Cameroon at the same venue. With three-time AFCON titles under their belt, Nigeria is considered the favourites on paper, boasting quality, experience, and a robust defence that has conceded just once. Victor Osimhen, crowned the African Player of the Year, leads a formidable Super Eagles attack alongside the in-form Ademola Lookman.
On the other side, Angola surprised by topping Group D unbeaten, marking their first quarter-final appearance since hosting the 2010 tournament. Led by star striker Gelson Dala, who has netted twice in the tournament, Angola's attack has proven potent with nine goals in four games.
Gelson Dala warned Nigeria, stating, “We will fight and make life hard for them. With our fans, we believe we can win.” Angola coach Pedro Gonçalves expressed confidence, saying, “We respect Nigeria but fear nobody. The pressure is on them as favourites.”
Nigeria's coach, Jose Peseiro, expects a tough test, acknowledging Angola's unpredictability and dangerous players. He emphasized, “Angola are unpredictable with some very dangerous players. We cannot underestimate them.”
The quarter-final clash promises excitement and potential surprises, adding to the intrigue of an AFCON filled with unexpected outcomes. The kick-off for Nigeria vs. Angola is scheduled for 17:00 GMT.
Nigeria vs Angola
Jose Peseiro, Nigeria's Coach: “It's a quarter-final match. Both teams want to reach the semi-finals. It will be a tough match; we will bring commitment and sacrifice to try to overcome this great team, even if it's not a big name, to reach the semi-final.”
Alex Iwobi, Nigeria's Midfielder: “We watched the videos. It will be a tough match. They won the last match with a large score, and we also defend well. We will give everything on the field to reach the semi-finals.”
Pedro Gonçalves, Angola's Coach: “This match means a lot for our team and for the entire Angolan nation, which has dreamed for years of seeing the team at this stage of the competition.”
Manuel Cafumana, Angola's Player: “Tomorrow, we will have a match that will allow us to prove ourselves. I am proud of what we have accomplished since the beginning and especially the pride that we currently represent for our country… We will fight against Nigeria as we did in the first four matches. We will play as usual.”