CHAN: Home Eagles Survive Angola Scare To Advance Into Semi-Finals

CHAN: Home Eagles Survive Angola Scare To Advance Into Semi-Finals

By James Agberebi: The home-based Super Eagles fought back from a goal down to beat Angola 2-1 after extra-time in the quarter-finals of the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) inTangier, Morocco on Sunday.

This is the second time the home-based Eagles will be making it to the semi-final since their debut in 2014 in South Africa where they finished third.

Vladimir Va’s goal looked to be enough to send Angola through but Anthony Okpotu scored a late goal to send the game into extra-time.

And in second half extra-time, Ikechukwu Gabriel scored the winner to send Nigeria into the last four.

The Home Eagles should have taken the lead just seconds into the game through last season’s Nigeria Professional Football League top scorer Okpotu, who was played through on goal and was one-on-one with the Angolan keeper Mavanga Landu but lost his footing.

In the seventh minute, Emeka Ogbugh went close for the Eagles but his effort was saved by the Angolan keeper at the near post.

A minute later, the Eagles went close again this time through Emeka Atuloma whose header from a corner went just wide after the Angolan keeper failed to deal with a corner.

The Eagles were forced into an early change on 14 minutes as Orji Kalu went off injured and was replaced by Timothy Danladi.

Angola had their first attempt on goal a minute later through Braullo Nary but his header from a corner went just over the bar.

In the 19th minute, the Angolans broke on the left but Stephen Eze made a superb clearance for a corner.

In the 30th minute, Angola almost took the lead following a superb strike by Calesso Mano inside the box but Ikechukwu Ezenwa produced a brilliant save as he tipped the shot over the bar.

Angola should have taken the lead on 35 minutes through Mano after he was played through on goal but Ezenwa made two brilliant saves to deny the Angolan forward.

On the stroke of half-time, Okpotu should have opened the scoring after the Angolan keeper missed a cross only for his effort cleared off the line.

Okpotu had another chance for the Eagles on 50 minutes after connecting with Sunday Faleye’s long pass only for the Lobi Stars striker to hit his low strike just off target with the keeper off his line.

Angola eventually took the lead in the 55th minute after Danladi’s poor clearance ricocheted off Va and sailed over Ezenwa and into the net.

Angola almost doubled their lead in the 62nd minute from a poor defensive play by the Nigerian but Eze made a vital block with the ball going over the bar.

Ezenwa prevented the Angolans from going 2-0 up on 72 minutes as he quickly came off his line to snatch the ball off with the Eagles defence caught flat-footed.

The Eagles almost drew level on 78 minutes after Gabriel Okechukwu connected with a cross but the ball came off the post and hit the keeper in his face and went away for a corner.

Afonso Fofo should have put day light between them and Nigeria following a counter-attack but once again pulled off a brilliant save.

Nigeria had a big chance to equalise on 85 minutes but once again Gabriel blasted his effort way off target with the keeper to beat.

In the 91st minute, the Eagles equalised thanks to Okpotu who slammed the ball past the Angolan keeper off a flicked header from Ali from a long ball from Osas Okoro to send the game into extra-time.

Early in extra-time, Ali had a chance but hit his long shot way off target.

Ali had another chance to give Nigeria the lead two minutes into extra-time second half but volleyed over the bar from a long pass.

Nigeria went 2-1 up on 110 minutes thanks to Gabriel who beat the Angolan keeper at his far left after brilliant footwork on the edge of the box.

Gabriel almost scored again following a mix-up in the Angolan box but the keeper quickly came off his line to catch the ball.

Okpotu had a chance to put the game to bed in the last minute of extra-time but blasted his effort over the bar.

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  • Mr. Jidauna, G.G 1 year ago

    CHAN Eagles, congrat to guys for the fight you put in today…. “its not over untill its over” that’s what you proved today in your match against Angola. You guys gave a good account of your selves, and truly made the country proud. Congrats to all of you.

  • Diuto Nwachukwu 1 year ago

    ”Big Congratulations” To Them! But my special thanks goes to Okpotu who put us back into the game!

  • Tony 1 year ago

    Congrats guys but please we miss too many chances that is our problem,and I have been impressed with ezenwa in this tournament.

  • Edoman of New Jersey, USA. 1 year ago

    This is nice to hear, folks. Our goal keeper seemed to be living up to the expectations. Keep it up. Thank you all.

  • ayo michael 1 year ago

    you guys inspired nigerians spirit, you are favoured by the soccer angel,congrat.

  • Patrick Nwachukwu 1 year ago

    Congratulations guys.

  • Victor 1 year ago

    The “never say die” attitude kept them going. Nice one by the super eagles but we should scored more than 8 goals against Angola. We lost just too many chances especially one on ones. Its terribly awful, I think salisu Yusuf should continue to work on their finishing, It keeps letting them down. The keeper was excellent tonight, ah! Ezenwa sabi mehn, nice one. He truly deserves to be in Russia.

  • Ezenwa is our only goalkeeper ‘alive.’ He will definitely be in Russia. The Eagles tried but this is Angola!!! This is not Morocco, my friends. We were scared as a fox face a viper. We freezes but fortunately that goal came at that point and the winning goal came later AET but it doesn’t matter, a win is a win no matter when it came. Congratulations to the boys. Sudan is next. Sudan will be tougher than Angola. They are semi finalist too. So we have the best 4. Respect should be accorded them but not fear. Sudan 0-2 Nigeria. Nigeria 2-1 ???????

  • Hassan Daud 1 year ago

    Congrats to the Super Eagles team on their qualification for the semi-finals. They showed guts to come back when it seemed like it was over. However, it must be stated, this team is very poor and Coach Salisu’s tactics I fault. The team played to the gallery in the 1st half with lots of chances begging to be converted. Angola utilised the team’s weakness to score against the run of play and should have scored 2 more to punish this team.The team is easy to beat if they play like this in the semis against sudan and obviously they cant play this way against host Morroco if they hope to win this elusive trophy. Midfield is our bane Austin Oladapo and Gabriel(though he scored) are not worthy of being in the team. Attack needs to be sharper though it isnt weak. Half chances ought to be buried cos scoring chances hardly comes in the remaining stages of the championship. Defence’s fraility occured from lots of misplaced and short passes in the midfield.

  • Tony Iloka 1 year ago

    Congrats to this hard fighting team. They have earned the accolade of “COME-BACK-EAGLES” from me having had to come back from a goal down to win against Equatorial Guinea and Angola. I encourage the technical to find a way to handle the wind which I learnt disturb the flight of ball in the tournament. Again, the idea of not scoring in the first half or waiting for the opponent to score first isn’t palatable as it could spell doom.

  • PapaFem 1 year ago

    The greatest undoing of this team is their profligacy in front of goal. And Okpotu is at the centre of this. They almost paid for it today. Chance kept coming, mostly orchestrated by those wonderful midfielders. But Okpotu and Gabriel wouldn’t just bury them. Against a well-organized team like Sudan,we may not the that lucky. Salisu and his crew must do something because if you take away their wastefulness, this team is capable of winning the competition and rewrite history. All the best..

  • Papa J 1 year ago

    Though I was worried they’re going to lose because our final third weren’t convincing. I hope the midfield will have a better coordination more than the match against Angola. Ezenwa kept them in that match but mental strength won it for them. Sudan that I watched over n over will be tougher, besides that will be their team A. You now see that a lot of work needs to be done if the super eagles must make it to the final. Up eagles!!!