Angola’s head coach, Pedro Goncalves, expresses deep respect for the Super Eagles while emphasizing his team’s intent to exploit their weaknesses.
As the Palancas Negras gear up to face the Super Eagles in a quarter-final clash at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan on Friday, Goncalves acknowledges Nigeria’s three-time championship status and overwhelming favoritism due to their continental pedigree.
Despite recognizing the Super Eagles’ superiority and the talent within the squad, Goncalves is confident in his team’s ability to identify and exploit any vulnerabilities present.
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“We respect Nigeria for everything they have achieved in African football. They are a formidable team with players competing in top leagues worldwide, including the Premier League,” Goncalves acknowledges.
He specifically mentions key players like Victor Osimhen, whom he voted for in the Ballon d’Or award, and Ademola Lookman, highlighting Lookman’s exceptional season with Atalanta.
Goncalves analyzes Nigeria’s preferred formation, pointing out the strengths of the 3-4-3 setup with versatile wingers like Ola Aina and Zaidu Sanusi. Drawing from his knowledge of Sanusi from FC Porto, Goncalves identifies areas where Angola can exploit Nigeria’s weaknesses.
“We know Nigeria has a weakness which we will try to exploit. This is a significant opportunity for us to make history. We are motivated to beat them and demonstrate the strength and power of the Angolan people on the pitch.”