• Saturday, March 02, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

AFCON: Fans warn Super Eagles against underrating Angola

Osimhen-Moses

As Nigeria’s Super Eagles prepare to play Angola in the quarter-finals fixture of the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Friday, fans have warned against underrating the Sable Antelopes as both teams battle for a place in the semi-finals.

The Super Eagles progressed to the Round of 16 after dispatching Cameroon 2-0, with Ademola Lookman scoring both goals for Nigeria.

Angola defeated Namidia 3-0 thanks to two goals from informed striker Gelson Dala.

Ahead of Friday’s win or burst match., football supporters in Nigeria have called on the Super Eagles not to play down the threat of Angola as both teams battle for a place in the semi-finals of the 2023 AFCON.

Umar Muhammed, Financial Secretary, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Nasarawa state chapter, said that every team that qualified for the quarter-finals of the tournament is a potential threat and urged the Super Eagles not to look down on Angola.

“On paper and in the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) recent rankings, Nigeria is rated higher than the remaining seven teams, ” Muhammed told NAN.

“In the game of football, you never can tell the outcome until the blast of the final whistle. So Eagles should not rely on the ranking by CAF.

“From this stage going forward, more work needs to be done. Eagles must not underrate any opposition they come across beginning with Angola. If they do, they will pay dearly,” he said.

Richard Ajegena added that the 2023 AFCON was bedevilled with ‘giant killers’, adding that the Super Eagles should not be a victim like Morocco, Egypt, and Algeria among others.

“This AFCON edition is filled with intrigues and surprises. So the Super Eagles need to be careful. All eyes are on them.

“Before the tournament, some teams were categorised as minnows but after the first and second rounds, we have now realised that there are no minnows in African football any longer.

“Nigeria needs to put in extra effort more than what they even played against Cote d`Ivoire in the group stage and Cameroon in the round of 16 to avoid any upset from Angola,” he said.

Suleiman Musa, a football fan urged the Eagles not to be complacent because they performed so well and have one of the best defences in the tournament.

“They should handle Angola and every other opponent with all sense of responsibility, with vigour and renewed energy.

“It’s a tournament of surprises in favour of the so-called small teams. So we need to be alert and cautious with whoever we play,” he told NAN.