By Wale Mustapha
The Nigeria senior men’s national team will be taking on the Palancas Negras of Angola in the first quarter final clash of 2023 African Cup of Nations, AFCON clash on Friday.
The high-profile encounter billed for the Felix Houphet Boigney Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan will see Jose Peseiro’s. take on one of the surprise packages of this tournament.
The three times AFCON winners will be heading to the clash on the back of an impressive performance that earned that remarkable victory over Cameroon in the Round of 16.
The Super Eagles took the Indomitable Lions to cleaners with a goal in each half from Ademola Lookman.
With the untimely exit of powerhouse likes Senegal, Egypt, and Morocco out of the competition, the Super Eagles have emerged favourites to be crowned the champions, but will have to cross the hurdles of Black Antelopes as Angolans are also called.
Nigeria look good to win the match with odds favoring them haven won their last three games at the tournament. They have also find back of the net in each of the games played so far, an indication of standing a good stead to replicate same feat against the Angolans who have been of leaking goal in defense.
For the the Palancas Negras, they had similar start to the tournament like the Super Eagles with a shaky start but later steadied with impressive performances.
They have gone on to become a strong contenders outside the notable powerhouses of African football.
The Super Eagles have won one of their last nine games with two more goals and they have never beaten Angola by two goals margin.
The last two matches between both sides have ended goaless in regulation time an indication that Super Eagles will have much to do to carry the day.
With the recent form of Angola and much expectations from the Super Eagles to win the match, the Palancas Negras could stand a good chance of chasing another major setback at the tournament.