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AFCON quarter-finals kick-off: Angola, Nigeria battle for spot in the last four

AFCON quarter-finals kick-off: Angola, Nigeria battle for spot in the last four

Story by Raynald Ngwarati, Sports Reporter

ANGOLA and Nigeria are set to renew their epic rivalry this Friday evening as the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals get underway in Cote d’Ivoire.

It is now down to eight teams in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with five West African teams, two Southern African teams and one Central African team remaining in the tournament.

To kick off an exciting round of matches in the last eight is what promises to be an exhilarating fixture between Nigeria and Angola at Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny at 7pm.

The two teams know each other well, having clashed 10 times before this meeting, with five of the previous 10 skirmishes ending in stalemates, while the Super Eagles came out on top on three occasions, one victory better than Angola.

While the Super Eagles edged the Southern African nation by a single win in those outings, Nigeria is wary of what stands in front of them, with enduring memories of how Angola famously prevented them from qualifying for the 2006 World Cup.

Angola emphatically knocked out neighbors Namibia en route to the quarterfinals and boast of the tournament’s second top goal scorer thus far, Gelson Dala four goals, while their opponents also ousted their neighbors Cameroon.

The Parancas Negras will also avoid blinking knowing fully well that Nigeria possesses a rare breed of talent inclusive of the reigning African Player of the year Victor Osimhen who is capable of turning the match on its head.

The action intensifies later on tonight as another fierce battle is expected at 10 pm when the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) clashes with Guinea at Stade de la Paix Stadium.

This will be the third meeting between the two at the AFCON and their first in the knockout stages having previously met at the 1970 and 2004 editions.

Overall, the two sides have clashed seven times, with the Central Africans emerging victorious four times and suffering two losses to Guinea plus a draw.

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