Goals from Gabriel Okechukwu and Anthony Okpotu proved decisive as the Super Eagles came from behind to beat Angola 2-1 and qualify for the semi-final of the ongoing African Nation Championship (CHAN) in Tanger, Morocco, in extra time.
Okpotu missed an incredible opportunity to give Nigeria the lead inside the first 30 seconds of the encounter as he completely mis-timed a pass with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The Angolans showed too much respect for the Eagles and found Ikechukwu Ezenwa a stumbling block the few times they had a sniff at goal.
With the first half ending goalless, both sides came out fighting in the second half and again, Okpotu had an opportunity to give Nigeria the lead but he dragged his shot wide.
And at the other end, the unexpected happened as Angola took the lead, as a panic clearance from Timothy came of Felix Vladimir and sailed past Ezenwa.
The Eagles were saved from going two behind as Ezenwa produced a brilliant save and with the game into the 90th minute – Okpotu raced onto a header from Kano Pillars Rabiu Ali and the Lobi star striker calmly finished to take the match into extra-time.
The first half of extra-time ended without any more goals from both sides but It was joy for the coach Salisu Yusuf tutored side as Gabriel Okechukwu skinned two players before placing the ball past the goalkeeper to give Nigeria a deserved 2-1 win.
Nigeria will continue their quest to win the competition for the first time when they face Sudan in Wednesday’s semi-final.