OLAMOND NAIJA’S SPORT NEWS: Super Eagles struggle in 1-0 friendly defeat to Algeria

The Super Eagles were second-best for most of the game against the African champions.


It’s been a dog’s age since the Super Eagles of Nigeria were in action. After 4-2 win away in Lesotho for a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, Nigeria’s senior national team had not played for almost a year.

There was supposed to be an AFCON qualifiers double-header against Sierra Leone in March 2021 but coronavirus hit and halted everything.

But here they were at the Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt in Austria, taking on African Champions Algeria.https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/VsIFSjiXF/about:blank

Gernot Rohr has undergone another era of change since the Super Eagles last played The Desert Foxes of Algeria. That game in July 2019 ended in a 2-1 victory for the North Africans in the semi-finals of AFCON 2019 on their way to win the title.

But it didn’t seem like the gap has reduced between both sides since then. Algeria were quickly the better side from the first minute and got their goal early.

A cross came in from the right and right back Ramy Bensebaini who had been adventurous from the back got his head to it. He didn’t connect with the ball properly but it fell to him again perfectly for him to poke for what turned out to be the game’s only goal.https://pulsembed.eu/p2em/K3GaktUXl/

The Algerians remained the better team although Alex Iwobi tried to make things happen for Nigeria.

Iwobi went close with a long-range effort mid-way into the first half while Samuel Kalu blasted over with the goal in sight after some good footwork.

Maduka Okoye on his first start for the Super Eagles had a good evening and was forced into a save from an Andy Delort freekick.Algeria were the better side all through the game (Twitter/DZfoot English)Algeria were the better side all through the game (Twitter/DZfoot English)Twitter

The Super Eagles, however, got better towards the end of the first half and worked the ball well to debutant Zaidu Sanusi who forced a save from the Algerian goalkeeper at the near post.

The first chance of the second half fell to Tyronne Ebuehi who could only fire narrowly wide after good work from Iwobi in the 59th minute.

The game remained the same, however. The Algerians were quicker and the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Saïd Benrahma caused a lot of troubles for the Nigerian defence.

In the 78 minutes, Moses Simon who came on for Kalu at halftime made a good run and found Sanusi who could only shoot straight to the hands of the Algerian goalkeeper.

Okoye kept Nigeria in the game with a tipping save from Yacine Brahimi who did well to turn from Leon Balogun to shoot.

There wasn’t much after that although Kelechi Iheanacho narrowly missed the target from a freekick which was the last kick of the game.


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