Nigeria 1 VS Algeria 2 FT - Mahrez Sends Nigeria Home With Last Kick Of The Game
By Iwedi Ojinmah 8 months ago
95.00 Goal from Mahrez who with the last kick of the game rocks the back of the Nigerian net with a fantastic free kick. Nigeria are out but we must admit beaten by the better team tonight.
72.00 Goal PK Ighalo after a handball in the 18 .......Nigeria are back on level terms courtesy of VAR.
40.00 Own Goal by Troost-Ekong after Mahrez waltzes through the Eagles defence and bangs the ball into the 18. The stadium is rocking. The Algerian Military donated 6 planes and have helped lift 7000 fans to the game. Meanwhile, Caf has named the Nigerian fans as the best at Afcon. Sadly the Algerian fans have brought their lasers with them and are busy shining them in our players' eyes. :(
0.00 Game is on. Nigeria in their dark green kits and playing a 4-2-3-1. Mikel on the bench. Algeria in all white. Who will win this cracker and join Senegal in the end game? Thank God I see Rohr is wearing his lucky blue shirtRelated: Osimhen Named In U21 Team Of The Week
Nigeria's captain John Obi Mikel may make a return to the side's starting XI after missing two games due to an injury sustained against Madagascar. Mikel who now plays at Turkish side Trabzonspor, has said that he was certain of recovering in time for the semi-final in Cairo.
Nevertheless, many Nigerian fans are unhappy with the idea and want the midfield kept as is, especially so since it has brought them this far. Shehu Abdullahi, is expected to be match ready in case Rohr may need him. They are also clamouring for wunderkind Chukwueze to start and again begging the NFF not to dress the team in the All Green Kit.
Meanwhile, Algeria have no major injury concerns and looks set to field the usual midfield four of Mahrez, Ismael Bennacer, Feghouli and Youcef Belaili to provide support for their lone but mercurial striker Bounedjah. However, Guedioura, another formidable arrow in the North Africans quiver, is one booking away from a suspension and that is a reason for concern.
Tons of their fans have been pouring in hoping to offset any advantage Nigeria may have with the Egyptians. Click here to view
In a semi-final environment, it is often those with the greatest mental acumen - as opposed to just raw technique - who tend to prevail, and as we have pointed out repeatedly Nigeria's experience at this stage of the competition gives them a clear psychological advantage over Algeria. Throw in the added fact that Egyptian fans will be 100% behind the Nigerians, this should be enough to see the Super Eagles through to the Finals against either Senegal or Tunisia who will play in the other 5.00 PM semi-final.
Two giants of African football will do battle for a place in the Africa Cup of Nations final today when Algeria take on Nigeria in Cairo. Algeria have shown signs of impressive resurgence in this tournament following a bleak couple of years during which they were knocked out in the group stages of the 2017 tournament and failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Nigeria, on the other hand, will consider reaching the semi-final as a minimum requirement given the Super Eagles' incredible history in this tournament, reaching the last four on seven occasions since 2000.
A L G E R I A :
The North African side failed to win a single group game in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, finishing third behind Senegal and Tunisia also finding themselves bottom of their group during 2018 World Cup qualifying - a stark contrast to when they reached the 2010 and 2014 finals.
But with the appointment of former midfielder Djamel Belmadi in November 2018 things have completely changed Algeria's fortunes, with the new manager still unbeaten after 11 games in charge. Their form at this tournament has been exceptional from a defensive point of view, conceding just one goal in five games but they have also shown fangs upfront scoring 10 goals as well.
But one crucial aspect of Algeria's success in this tournament - which they have not won since 1990 - has been the sturdiness of central defenders Djamel Benlamri and Aissa Mandi, shielded competently by the highly experienced Adlene Guedioura and complemented by Ruis in goal.
Recent AFCON form: WWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WDWWWW
N I G E R I A:
Nigeria did not perform particularly extremely well in the 2-1 quarter-final success over South Africa, but they denied the pesky southerners space and burst their game plan like a balloon falling on a nail. William Troost-Ekong's late winner was an example of how sheer pedigree can sometimes be enough to get you over the line. And as we know the West Africans have tons of it. Their record under manager Gernot Rohr, who has managed in Africa since 2010, is seriously intimidating, losing to an African side on just two occasions over the last three years.
Shockingly one of those defeats came in their final group game against Madagascar, during which Rohr rested several players given that Nigeria had already qualified for the knockout stages. Since then, Naija has progressed to the last four through a pair of pulsating encounters with Cameroon and South Africa, coming from behind to beat the former 3-2 and knocking out the latter.
Nigeria as show moments of absolute brilliance such as the quick flowing move involving former Leicester City winger Ahmed Musa and Arsenal's Alex Iwobi, whose smart jink down the left-hand channel opened up tpace for Samuel Chukwueze to score their first goal against Bafana. Sadly such incidents of attacking play have been rare for Nigeria, especially in the two knockout games played so far, despite dominating ball possession and number of passes completed.
This team is known for their strong emphasis on organisation and discipline, may not possess the swagger of their marvellous 1994 team, but their national spirit and comprehension of this competition, inside out, makes them a very challenging opponent under tense semi-final conditions.
Recent AFCON form: WWLWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWLWW
Algeria possible starting lineup:
M'Bolhi; Bensebaini, Benlamri, Mandi, Attal; Guedioura; Belaili, Bennacer, Feghouli, Mahrez; Bounedjah
Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Akpeyi; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Aina; Ndidi, Mikel; Iwobi, Mikel, Musa; Ighalo
Head To Head:
Nigeria's predominance over Algeria in past competitive fixtures is undeniable, with the Super Eagles winning seven of the last nine between the two sides including a mauling in Nigeria during the WC qualifications. However that said, the Desert Foxes did emerge victorious during their last meeting with Nigeria which fielded a depleted side having already qualified themselves. The last meeting in the Africa Cup of Nations came during a third-place playoff in 2010, which Nigeria won 1-0 in a very cagey game.
We say: Algeria 1-2 Nigeria. Just as in 2010, expect a cagey encounter between these two sides, with both teams to attack on the break. In a semi-final environment, it is often those with the greatest mental acumen - as opposed to just raw technique - who tend to prevail, and as we have pointed out repeatedly Nigeria's experience at this stage of the competition gives them a clear psychological advantage over Algeria. Throw in the added fact that Egyptian fans will be 100% behind the Nigerians, this should be enough to see the Super Eagles through to the Finals against either Senegal or Tunisia who will play in the other 5.00 PM semi-final.
Date: Today Sunday, July 14th 2019
Venue: Cario International Airport
Time: 8.00 PM
TV: NTA, SuperSport