AFCON 2019: Nigeria vs Algeria preview
The semi-final clash between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Desert Foxes of Algeria is undoubtedly ‘The clash of titans’. The teams meet on Sunday night at the Cairo International Stadium in the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Nigeria’s Super Eagles are on a mission to win their fourth AFCON trophy, while the Algerians will not hesitate to get their second continental title if they reach the final in Egypt.
However, only one of these two powerhouses in Africa football can qualify for the 2019 AFCON final.
The Algerians have been touted as the best team so far in the ongoing tournament. They won all three of their group stage matches and have conceded just a goal in the competition when they defeated Ivory Coat by penalties in the quarter-final.
Nigeria, on the other hand, had to steadily grow into the tournament where they won two of their three group stage matches. They defeated reigning African champions Cameroon in the round of 16 and South Africa in quatre-final.
But out of their journeys so far in 2019 AFCON, both teams are familiar enemies whey they square out on the football pitch.
Nigeria and Algeria were in the same qualification group for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. But it was the Super Eagles that qualified from the group after beating Algeria 3 – 1 and a 1 – 1 draw (the game was later adjudged forfeited by Nigeria) to be in the most celebrated football competition.
Prior to the qualifiers, Nigeria defeated Algeria 1 – 0 in the third-placed fixture of the AFCON 2010 hosted by Angola.
In total, Nigeria and Algeria have faced off six times. Nigeria are the better side with three wins with a draw and two losses to the Algerians.
Sunday’s fixture will clearly be about qualification to AFCON 2019 final and not for anything else.
Nigeria’s Gernot Rohr knows it will be a challenge to go past Algeria, who he considers the best of the 2019 AFCON.
“Algeria are the best team of the tournament so far and it will be a big challenge to beat them,” Rohr said.
Algeria manager Djamel Belmadi said Nigeria has an advantage heading into Sunday’s match because they had more time to rest after their match against South Africa on Wednesday.