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Nigeria's CHAN side have the Super Eagles spirit, says Gernot Rohr

Gernot Rohr of Nigeria EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

Gernot Rohr has praised Nigeria's character after their 2-1 African Nations Championship quarter-final victory over Angola on Sunday.

The home-based Eagles were up against it after falling behind to Va's 56th-minute opener in Tanger, but rallied to turn the tie around following Anthony Okpotu's stoppage-time equaliser and an extra-time winner from substitute Gabriel Okechukwu.

The comeback prompted Rohr to commend the team's spirit after the match, with the German coach suggesting that he saw the same character as his senior side boast.

"It was a game we deserved to win because we were the better team," Rohr told KweséESPN. "When you concede, you're chasing [an equaliser] for so long, and you score only in the 92nd minute, it means that the players never give up.

"We have the same spirit in the Super Eagles A team, and I'm happy about that," he added. "We're made of the same stuff as well."

Sunday's showdown in Tanger wasn't the first time that Nigeria have had to bounce back in the face of adversity this campaign, with Salisu Yusuf's team also responding strongly to win 3-1 against Equatorial Guinea after conceding first.

'We have continuity in our work and they did very well," Rohr continued. "It was a difficult game because we had to chase after this goal.

"They are a team who never give up, and who push on until the end. There's a good technical and physical level too - because in extra time they had to go and get the win on a pitch that was becoming heavy.

"In two hours of playing, in their fourth match in such a short space of time, it wasn't easy, but they negotiated extra time well," the German coach noted. "The two goals were beautiful."

For long swathes of the contest, it didn't look like the game would go Nigeria's way, as the Eagles toiled for an equaliser and missed a litany of chances.

Before his equaliser, Okpotu was culpable of missing a series of chances, and perhaps should have netted in the opening seconds of the match before being brought down by Angola stopper Landu.

"There was a penalty for us at the very beginning of the match," said Rohr, "but the referee didn't give it.

"Nigeria started well, but they then encountered a difficult period and Angola took advantage to score a rather lucky goal.

"Afterwards, we deserved to come back into the game, even if it was in stoppage time."

Nigeria's triumph sets up a semi-final meeting with Sudan in Marrakech as the Eagles keep alive their hopes of bettering their best CHAN finish - third in 2014.