Nigeria humiliates Algeria to retain top spot

Lekan Sowande, Uyo

Nigeria has taken a four point lead in group B of the African qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, scheduled for Russia.
A double from Victor Moses with efforts from John Obi Mikel were all the Super Eagles needed to tear apart Algeria at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
The Eagles took the lead through Moses in the 25th minute, and they made it 2-0 just before half time when another Chelsea player, John Mikel beat Algeria‘s off-side trap to slot home as Algeria’s defenders stood and watched.
The Fennecs did have chances to get back into the game, the very best of them coming from Nabil Bentaleb who missed from close range.
Bentaleb however made amends mid-way through second half with a superb shot from 25 yards to make it 2-1.
Algeria tried to come back into the game, dominating possession, but the defence of Nigeria stood tall to halt all the moves of the North Africans.
Moses put the match out of the reach of the Algerians, scoring the third goal in the stoppage time to win the game 3-1 for Nigeria.
Speaking at a post match conference, Nigerian coach, Gernot Rohr said their tactics work well for them but there still long way to go in the qualifier.
“We defended well, a good organization on Marehz and on Slimani. I have already told my players that we still have a long way to go, four games remaining, a difficult game, it is not done yet, but we are on the right way” he said.
This is the first competitive defeat that Algeria will suffer since 2015 Nations Cup.
The Georges Leekens’ men are now in serious danger of missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Coach Leekens said despite the defeat, the game was balance.
“I think it was a very balance game, a good game, we will not give up, it is a pity we lost, but the group is still open” he said.
With the result, Nigeria have a comfortable lead at the top of the group with six points from two matches after Cameroon were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Zambia in Limbe.
The Super Eagles host Cameroon in their next game next year while Zambia and Algeria will do battle in other group game.




Aisha JM