By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Nigeria winger Moses Simon has admitted that it will not be a stroll-in-the-park in the quarterfinal duel of the Africa Cup of Nations against Angola at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny on Friday.
The Super Eagles will face Palancas Negras for a place in the semi-final in Cote d’Ivoire and the FC Nantes star insists his side are looking forward to another keenly contested encounter with the Southern Africa.
“It is going to be a difficult game, like the ones against Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon, and even Equatorial Guinea,” Simon told thenff.com
“We must be at our best and focus on the prize.”
Clashes between Nigeria and Angola at international level have been few and far between, but Nigeria has a couple of scores to settle with the southern African nation.
Angola edged Nigeria to reach the last round of the qualification series for the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals in Italy, but the return leg in Nigeria that the Eagles won 1-0 was under a cloud of tragedy as playmaker Samuel Okwaraji collapsed and died 13 minutes from the end on 12th August 1989. The first leg in Luanda ended 2-2.
Angola also famously stopped Nigeria from reaching the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, when the Eagles followed a 0-1 loss in Luanda to draw 1-1 with the Negras in a sunny Sani Abacha Stadium in June 2005.
The Super Eagles are in search of their fourth title at AFCON 2023 and will have to pass through the Angola hurdle to achieve such a feat.