AFCON 2023: Angola’s Coach Names Five Players Key to Nigeria’s Super Eagles Success in Ivory Coast

AFCON 2023: Angola’s Coach Names Five Players Key to Nigeria’s Super Eagles Success in Ivory Coast

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Angola logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Ademola Lookman logo
A. Lookman
Atalanta logoFNigeria logo
Zaidu Sanusi logo
Z. Sanusi
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O. Aina
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M. Simon
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  • The commencement of the quarter-final round of the Africa Cup of Nations is on the horizon
  • The Super Eagles of Nigeria are poised to face off against the Palancas Negras of Angola
  • Coach of the Palancas Negras has identified five players that make the Super Eagles tick

The upcoming clash in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) between Nigeria's Super Eagles and Angola's Palancas Negras is shaping up to be an exhilarating spectacle.

Both teams, who share a rivalry which dates back over five decades, are poised to renew hostilities when Senegalese referee Issa Sy blows his whistle at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan.

AFCON, CAF, Nigeria, Super Eagles, Angola, Pedro Goncalves
Angola's coach Pedro Goncalves gestures during the Africa Cup of Nations match against Mauritania. Image: Kenzo Tribouillard.
Source: Getty Images

However, ahead of the crucial winner-takes-all clash, coach of the Palancas Negras Pedro Goncalves has identified five players of the Super Eagles that are largely responsible for the successes recorded at the 2023 Cup of Nations so far.

Angola coach on key Super Eagles players

In his final pre-match press conference, the 47-year-old delved into his comprehensive understanding of the Nigerian team, taking a moment to acknowledge the standout players under the guidance of coach Jose Peseiro.

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According to Soccernet's report, the former Sporting CP academy coach emphasised:

"Nigeria stands as a football powerhouse boasting exceptional talents in top-notch national leagues.
Five or six of them play in the Premier League as integral members of their starting eleven, another two in the Calcio [Italy], with one of them, Victor Osimhen, earning my vote as the best player in the world last year. The other is Ademola Lookman."

The manager went on to dissect the players crucial to coach Peseiro's success in the AFCON:

"In the initial stages, they adopted a 4-3-3 formation, shifting to a solid 3-4-3 from the second game onwards.
The defensive trio, flanked by dynamic wingers Aina and Zaidu—who I'm familiar with from his time at Porto—exhibited remarkable physical and tactical prowess.
The midfield, pendulous in nature, and a frontline featuring Moses, Osimhen, and Lookman showcased their tactical versatility."

Coach Goncalves' pinpoint analysis subtly underscores the thorough evaluation conducted by the Angolan team on the Super Eagles players, adding an extra layer of intrigue to an already riveting encounter.

Peseiro rates Nigeria’s chance vs Angola

Sports Brief in another report stated coach of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, has rated his team’s chances against their Angolan counterparts.

The 63-year-old tactician scored both teams to have equal chances of winning the encounter and largely downplayed the favourite tag hovering over his team.

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).