CHAN: Eagles battle Angola for s’final spot

Posted on Jan 28 2018 - 6:54am by admin

’TANA AIYEJINA

The Super Eagles B will clash with Angola for a place in the 2018 African Nations Championship semi-finals in a potentially explosive tie at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier on Sunday.

Hosts Morocco defeated Namibia 2-0 on Saturday to emerge as the first qualifiers for the last four stage.

The Eagles advanced to the quarter-finals as Group C winners. They drew 0-0 with Rwanda in their opening game of the tournament, but wins over Libya (1-0) and Equatorial Guinea (3-1) sealed their qualification as group leaders.

Palancas Negras finished second in Group D, two points behind Congo, who take on Libya for a place in the last four.

The Angolans played out a barren draw against Congo in their final Group D clash on Wednesday in Agadir, as the two sides progressed to the knockout stage.

The Palancas Negras knew a draw against already qualified Congo would be enough to get the remaining quarter-final place, and they did just that after Cameroon and Burkina Faso settled for a 1-1 draw in the other Group D match in Tangier.

Eagles captain Ikechukwu Ezenwa said the team, who have been largely wasteful  in front of goal, need to take their chances if they are to advance into the next round.

“We have to play to win and we hope to take our chances.We are looking forward to our next game, we hope to be in the semifinal. The solidarity and the spirit in the team have carried us this far and we hope to continue to work hard,” he said.

The Angolans place more emphasis on midfield play, with Patty and Manguxi their key men while captain Job and Mano can wreak havoc on defences with their incisive runs from the flanks. The trio of the highly experienced Rabiu Ali, Dayo Ojo, who scored a great goal against Equatorial Guinea, and Emeka Atuloma would have to work hard to thwart the threat of their opponents.

Head coach Salisu Yusuf would need fast-paced wingers to unlock the Angolans’ defence, led by the hardworking Mira. Emeka Ogbuh and Sunday Faleye might be saddled with that task, with the powerful Anthony Okpotu, their target inside the box.

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