AFCON 2023: Three Reasons Nigeria’s Super Eagles Must Not Underestimate Angola

AFCON 2023: Three Reasons Nigeria’s Super Eagles Must Not Underestimate Angola

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Angola logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
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Ademola Lookman logo
A. Lookman
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  • The quarter-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations are on the horizon
  • Nigeria’s Super Eagles will next take on the Palancas Negras of Angola
  • Sports Brief lists the reasons why Jose Peseiro’s team should be wary

The upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-final showdown between Nigeria's Super Eagles and Angola is poised to be a riveting spectacle.

Although the scales tip in favour of the Super Eagles, this fixture may present a challenging match for Jose Peseiro's team, particularly considering the Palancas Negras have remained undefeated in their last nine outings.

AFCON, CAF, Nigeria, Angola, Osimhen, Super Eagles
Angola players celebrate after scoring a goal against Namibia during the African Cup of Nations Round of 16 match. Image: Anis / APP.
Source: Getty Images

The imperative for a cautious but intentional approach by the Super Eagles is accentuated by data courtesy of All Nigeria Soccer.

This data underscores the fact that Nigeria has secured victory in only two of their last nine meetings against the Central African team.

Historical precedents suggest a potentially tricky encounter for the Super Eagles. Sports Brief outlines three compelling reasons why Nigeria should not underestimate their Angolan counterparts in this upcoming clash.

Angola vs Nigeria: what the stats show

History of upsets

The influence of history on modern football can not be underestimated. While the Palancas Negras may not be a widely recognised football powerhouse in the continent, they have consistently demonstrated an ability to upset other formidable teams, often when least expected.

Dismissing their potential based solely on reputation could breed complacency. Angola has proven to be a formidable opponent for Nigeria in the past. The Super Eagles' most recent triumph over them dates back to the 1-0 victory in the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Lagos in 1989.

A blend of youth and experience

Under the guidance of coach Pedro Goncalves, the Angolan national team has successfully integrated a blend of seasoned veterans and talented young players.

This strategic combination of experience and youth within the Palancas Negras' squad has played a pivotal role in the remarkable success achieved by the national team under Goncalves' management, especially considering the fact many of their players now ply their trade in the Portuguese leagues.

Strong defensive set-up

The resolute defensive set-up of the Palancas Negras have often proven enough to be able to frustrate high attacking sides, including Ghana and Cape Verde and, recently, the Algerian national team.

The Super Eagles need to be ready to navigate through a meticulously organised defence capable of neutralising their offensive strengths.

Underestimating Angola's defensive prowess could lead to a frustrating stalemate for Nigeria.

Jose Peseiro’s team could employ another forward other than Victor Osimhen to help unlock what is going to be a compact defence of the Angolan team.

Angola coach praises Nigeria's forwards

Sports Brief also previously reported that Angola coach, Goncalves praised two Nigerians ahead of the clash between both nations in the quarter-finals.

The 47-year-old emphasised the exceptional qualities of Victor Osimhen and strike partner Ademola Lookman, who have combined to be a potent force.

Angola coach, Goncalves also commented on the cohesive defensive efforts displayed by Jose Peseiro's team in preparation for the upcoming clash.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).