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Nigeria, Angola qualify for AFCON quarter finals

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Nigeria celebrate their win over Cameroon. PHOTO/CAF
  • Nigeria beat Cameroon 2-0
  • Ademola Lookman scored both goals
  • Angola saw off Namibia 3-0

Nigeria and Angola became the first two teams to qualify for the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, after going past their round of 16 duels Saturday night.

Nigeria beat five-time champions Cameroon to go through while Angola saw off Namibia 3-0 in a game that both teams finished with 10 men.

In Abidjan, Ademola Lookman scored a goal in either half in Nigeria’s victory over Cameroon. It was another professional performance from the Super Eagles, who continued their recent dominance over Cameroon.

Nigeria thought they had broken the deadlock after nine minutes when defender Ssemi Ajayi rifled home from inside the box off a recycled corner, but the goal was chalked off for offside by the VAR.

They ultimately broke the deadlock after 36 minutes when Lookman netted. The Atalanta man squeezed the ball beyond the keeper after Victor Osimhen stole the ball off a defender before squaring it for his teammate to finish.

Nigeria pile more pressure in second half


Nigeria’s Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi embrace after the final whistle. PHOTO/CAF

In the second half Nigeria continued to pile the pressure, and Lookman, who was quite in the mood came close when he fired a freekick just inches over the bar.

In the 86th minute Lookman played provider, this time rolling the ball for Ola Aina to take a strike at goal inside the box but his effort was gallantly blocked.

Ultimately, they made it 2-0 with Lookman completing his brace, another good display from Nigeria seeing the ball rolled to Calvin Bassey on the left, the latter rolling in a cross into the box that Lookman connected home.

Cameroon struggled to create clear cut chances, and now see their hopes of a sixth AFCON title dashed.

“Wow, we’re so happy to qualify for the quarter-finals. The more we play together, the more fluid we become. I’m standing here now but this award reflects the whole team’s performance. We played and fought as a team,” brace hero Lookman said after the game.

Angola see off Namibia


Angola players celebrate their win over Namibia. PHOTO/CAF

In the early kick off in Bouake, Gelson Dala scored twice and laid out an assist as Angola beat Namibia 3-0 to advance to the quarter finals.

Both sides finished the game with 10 men, Angola being reduced by a man in the 17th minute while Namibia had their man sent off five minutes to the break.

Angola were reduced to 10 men when their keeper Neblu was sent off with a straight red card after handling the ball outside the box as the last man of defense.

Numbers were struck even five minutes to the break when Namibia defender Lubeni Haukenge was sent off for a second yellow card and immediately from the resulting freekick, Ndala scored the second.

After going a man down, Angola didn’t seem fazed and they kept attacking. They ultimately broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when Dala tapped home unmarked inside the box from skipper Fredy’s cross.

Fredy and Dala would combine for the second goal in the 42nd minute when the latter headed home from the skipper’s freekick, arising from Haukenge’s trip that led to his sending off.

Captain Fredy would play another huge role in the third goal, slicing a brilliant 40-yard pass to find Dala, who turned from scorer to provider feeding Mabululu, the latter slotting the ball home from a low curling pass.

Angola could have made it 4-0 late on, but Zito Luvumbo’s audacious effort from range came off the woodwork.

“We had a good performance today. The team deserved this qualification and I’m very happy we made it happen. I will say the commitment and the involvement of all the players helped me in winning this man of the match,” Dala, who played a role in all three goals said.

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