Angola coach Pedro Goncalves conceded defeat after his side suffered a 1-0 result against Nigeria to exit the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations at the quarter-final stage in Ivory Coast on Friday.
The Super Eagles had to work hard for the victory against the Palancas Negras side that had exceeded expectations in reaching the last eight. Nigeria dominated the early exchanges with Napoli striker Victor Osimhen denied by the crossbar from Ademola Lookman’s pinpoint cross.
But on the stroke of half-time, Moses Simon turned provider, slipping in Lookman who slotted calmly beyond goalkeeper Guilherme da Costa to give Nigeria the lead.
Speaking after the game, Goncalves credited Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro for building a solid system around the team and further admitted the West Africans were better than his side and deserved to carry the day.
“I would like to congratulate the Nigeria team, they are very strong, the coach has put in place a solid system. They deserved their victory,” said Goncalves, adding: “I think we could have won. We fought for the whole 90 minutes. We felt sorry for ourselves after conceding the goal. We had opportunities to score but we didn’t put them in.
“I have the feeling of having succeeded in my mission with the Angolan national team. I am aware of the work I have accomplished with my team, no one expected Angola in the quarter-finals.”
Nigeria will now face the winner of Saturday’s quarter-final between Cape Verde and South Africa for a place in the final.