Player Ratings: Nigeria 1-0 Angola… Lookman, Troost-Ekong, Osimhen, Iwobi, others shine

Nigeria were the first side to book a semifinal berth at the Africa Cup of Nations after Ademola Lookman’s first-half goal ensured a 1-0 win over Angola in the last eight on Friday.

Lookman finished off a flying run down the left by winger Moses Simon, who skipped the challenge of defender Kialonda Gaspar to break free and then teed up his team mate for his third goal of the tournament.

The 26-year-old’s 41st-minute strike at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium was enough to set up a semi-final meeting on Wednesday against either the Cape Verde Islands or South Africa, who play their quarterfinal on Saturday.

Nigeria have now qualified for the semi-final in 13 of their last 15 Cup of Nations appearances and been elevated to the role of favourites at a tournament where almost all the heavyweight contenders have been dumped out.

PLAYER RATINGS

Nigeria: Nwabali 7, Ajayi 7, Troost-Ekong 8, Bassey 8, Aina 7, Onyeka 7, Iwobi 8, Sanusi 8, Simon 8, Lookman 9*, Osimhen 8. Subs: Yusuf 5, Aribo 5, Omeruo N/A, Onuachu N/A

Angola: Signori 7, Eddie 6, Gaspar 8, Buatu 7, Carneiro 6, Fredy 6, Show 7, Estrela 5, Gilberto 6, Mabululu 7, Dala 4. Subs: Zine 7, Paz 5, Luvumbo 5, Bela 5, Milson N/A

Photo Credit: NGSuperEagles/ CAF_Online/X

Ademola Lookman hands Nigeria semi-final berth at AFCON

Nigeria have qualified for the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after a narrow 1-0 win over a spirited Angola side.
The three-time former winners booked their place in the final four thanks to Ademola Lookman’s first half goal.

Angola hit the post after the break but were unable to fashion a goal of their own as they head home after an otheriwse impressive tournament.

Ademola Lookman scored the only goal as Nigeria edged out Angola to book their place in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.

The Atalanta winger struck four minutes before half-time in Abijdan, turning in Moses Simon’s cross to book a last-four date with either Cape Verde or South Africa.

Bidding to reach their first semi-final, Angola made a bright start and were denied in the fourth minute when Stanley Nwabali kept out Mabululu’s close-range volley.

However, it was Nigeria who hit the front in the 41st minute. Simon skipped away from Kialonda Gaspar’s sliding challenge and squared the ball for Lookman to fire into the roof of the net.

Angola almost responded just before the hour mark. Substitute Zine latched onto Show’s throughball and beat Nwabali, only to see his first-time shot bounce back off the post.

Although VAR denied Victor Osimhen, whose header from Lookman’s free-kick was chalked off for offside, the Super Eagles held out to secure their passage into the semi-finals.

Photo Credit: NGSuperEagles/ CAF_Online/X

(Watch behind-the-scene video) Armando Broja reacts to Fulham loan move

Armando Broja admits he can’t wait to take his chance at Fulham after joining Chelsea’s rivals on loan.

There was a nervy wait for Fulham fans but the deal is now over the line.

The Cottagers had filed a ‘deal sheet’ to the league prior to the 11pm cut off for transfers.

But the 22-year-old eventually sealed his move until the end of the season.

He said: “It feels amazing. I’m really happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started, meet the players and manager and play for the fans.

“The fans always play a big role and I can’t wait to go to Craven Cottage and meet them all. I’m going to work hard for the team and create a real bond.

“I’m really honoured and excited to be here.”