As predicted, Super Eagles lost 1-2 to hosts Algeria in an international friendly played in Oran last night.
After Lorient of France’s Ligue 1 forward, Terem Moffi, had fired Nigeria into the lead in the 9th minute, the Desert Foxes fought back gamely to tie the game 1-1 before the half time break.
Captain Riyad Mahrez drew Algeria level in the 41st minute from a controversial penalty after Frank Onyeka was adjudged to have fouled Youcef Belaili inside Nigerian box with a meaningless tackle.
In what appears a repeat of the Thomas Partey’s volley from outside the 22-metre box that denied Nigeria qualification for the World Cup kicking off in Qatar in less than 150 days from today, Uzoho had no answer for Youcef Atal almost 30-metre thunderbolt in the 61st minute.
Thereafter, the Desert Foxes took the game to the Super Eagles, seeking more opportunities to consolidate their lead.
Algeria, who topped the ball possession, would have restored parity earlier in the 19th minute from a defensive mistake, but the upright came to the rescue of Nigeria.
In the 28th minute, the Super Eagles thought they had gone 2-0 up when Moffi and Ademola Lookman combined before the Atalanta winger hit the back of the net. But that effort was ruled scored from an offside position by the Tunisian referee, Mehrez Melki.
Algerian striker Islam Slimani’s header from inside the box missing not by much in the 55th minute.
Six minutes later the North Africans conjured the magical goal that decided the international friendly
The speed and danger the Eagles showed going forward in the first half were missing after halftime as they created very little to trouble the Algerian defence. The absence of Victor Osimhen, Ahmed Musa, William Troost-Ekong and Sadiq Umar became very glaring in the Nigerian side.
Algeria have now won 10 head-to-head meetings with Nigeria, while the Eagles were victorious on eight occasions and there have been five draws.
*Nigeria’s Starting Line up
Francis Uzoho – Zaidu Sanusi, Ola Aina, Calvin Bassey, Kevin Akpoguma – Frank Onyeka (Raphael Onyedika 85), Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho (Cyriel Dessers 85) – Moses Simon (Captain), Terem Moffi (Taiwo Awoniyi 72), Ademola Lookman (Saviour Godwin 70)
Algeria 2-1 Nigeria
S’Korea 1-0 Cameroon
E’Guinea 2-2 Togo
Senegal 1-1 Iran
DR Congo 3-0 S’Leone
S’Africa 1-0 Botswana
Libya 2-1 Tanzania
Qatar 2-2 Chile
Egypt 3-0 Liberia
Nicaragua 0-1 Ghana
S’Arabia 0-0 USA
I’Coast 3-1 Guinea
Brazil 5-1 Tunisia
Paraguay 0-0 Morocco
UEFA Nations League
Portugal 0-1 Spain
Switzerland 2-1 Czech Rep