Lookman fires Nigeria into Africa Cup semis with win over Angola Loop Jamaica

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Nigeria’s Ademola Lookman celebrates after scoring during the African Cup of Nations quarterfinal football match against Angola, at the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. 2024. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba).

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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Ademola Lookman scored again to fire Nigeria into the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win over Angola on Friday.

Victor Osimhen failed to score after having a goal ruled out for offside but produced another tireless performance to help the Super Eagles emerge victorious from the tournament’s first quarterfinal. They did not concede for the fourth straight game.

Nigeria needed goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali — back after being stretchered off in the win over Cameroon — to deny Angola forward Mabululu an early lead.

But Nigeria went on to dominate the game in terms of possession and chances, and Lookman finally scored in the 41st minute after Moses Simon skipped a challenge and raced clear to set him up. It was Lookman’s third goal of the tournament after scoring both against Cameroon.

Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong urged his teammates to concentrate after making a clearance to deny Estrela an immediate response.

The Super Eagles maintained their dominance after the break, but Osimhen inadvertently impeded a good chance for Calvin Bassey and missed several late chances of his own.

The Napoli star thought he’d sealed the win with a header to Lookman’s free kick in the 75th, but the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

Nigeria reverted to a 5-4-1 formation with Osimhen alone up front as the Sable Antelopes probed for an equalizer.

Angola substitute Zini went closest when he hit the post.

Nigeria’s Frank Ogochukwu Onyeka was stretchered off late.

Both Nigeria and Angola danced their way into the stadium before the game on another hot and humid day in Abidjan. The temperature was 32 degrees (90 F) at kickoff.

Nigeria coach José Peseiro has made defense a priority. Nigeria never before won four straight games without conceding in the tournament.

Guinea were playing Congo in the second quarterfinal later. Guinea won their first ever Africa Cup knockout game to get there, while Congo are yet to win a game in normal time in this tournament as they bid for their first title since 1974.

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