Super Eagles truly ‘deserved’ win, but were Angola unlucky vs Nigeria?

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro has hailed his side's performance and doggedness in handling a difficult opponent like Angola and stated that the victory was well-deserved thanks to the team sticking to the strategy in which they had agreed upon before the game.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria became the first side to book its spot in the semifinal at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations following Ademola Lookman's first-half strike to secure a 1-0 win over the Palancas Negras of Angola on Friday night inside the Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

Peseiro boasts in well-deserved Super Eagles victory

Super Eagles
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Coach Peseiro celebrated the win with his team on the pitch before coming off the pitch in a chat with the media at the post-game conference to explain how his team deserved the win and gave some credit as well to the the opponents.

“We played a very good game but the Angolans created chances, they got the first corner, their ball also hit the post which represented the quality of their (Angola) team,” said Peseiro.

“Once again we didn’t concede a goal and we scored once again, we created more chances, especially in the first half and we controlled the opponent.”

“In the second half, we wanted to create more chances in the attack, but the Angolans put more people in their defence. Angola also put more players on the attack and we could have scored more goals.

“We also had chances on the counter attack which we didn’t utilize but I congratulate my players for the victory, it was well-deserved and also congratulate Angola for the good game.”

nigeria celebrates
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Goncalves admires strong Super Eagles team

His counterpart from Angola, Pedro Goncalves, also described the Nigerian team as a formidable side but felt they were unlucky at the end of the game.

For the first time in their AFCON history, Angola recorded a win in the knockout tie – victory over Namibia in the Round of 16 and Goncalves believes that the team's dreams were dashed early but they remain satisfied.

Goncalves Angola
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“I would like to congratulate the Nigeria team, they are very strong, the coach has put in place a solid system. They deserved their victory. I think we could have won. We fought for the whole 90 minutes,” he said.

“We felt sorry for ourselves after conceding the goal. 

“We had opportunities to score but we didn't put them in. I have the feeling of having succeeded in my mission with the Angolan national team. I am aware of the work I have accomplished with my team, no one expected us in the quarter-finals.

“We said among ourselves that if we got to the quarter-finals we would then try to win the tournament. Any team that comes this far has that ambition. We like to dream, but you also need to be realistic.

“The reality is that we were up against a very powerful side with players who play at the very highest level.”

Peseiro's team, which is currently ranked sixth in Africa, are now the clear favourite to bag their fourth continental title, having advanced to the semi-finals for the 15th time in their AFCON history.

The Super Eagles will keep a semifinal date next Wednesday in the Ivorian city of Bouake against the winners of the quarter-final tie between Cape Verde and South Africa on Saturday.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.