Nigeria’s Super Eagles will be hoping to reach the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt but face a hurdle in the shape of Algeria in Sunday’s second semifinals clash.

The Eagles have won eight of the previous encounters while Algeria had won seven, with three draws between them.

IZUCHUKWU OKOSI picks out four of the memorable matches between the Super Eagles and the Desert Foxes from the past 18 meetings.

 
1. 1980 AFCON

Nigeria defeated Algeria 3-0 at the Lagos National stadium, Lagos on 22 March 1980 to lift the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in history.

Segun Odegbami (brace) and Mudashiru Lawal scored Nigeria’s goals.



Three members of Nigeria’s Green Eagles squad; Christian Chukwu (Most Valuable Player of the AFCON), Best Ogedegbe (goalkeeper) and Segun Odegbami made the CAF Best XI.

2. 1988 AFCON

Nigeria edged Algeria 9-8 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time in one of the semifinals of the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations.

Abdulrazak Belgharbi scored an own goal at the expense of his Algerian side but four minutes to the end of the game, Rachid Maatar equalized for the Desert Foxes.

Ademola Adeshina and Yisa Shofoluwe missed their spot kicks for the Green Eagles but the likes of Rashidi Yekini and Austin Eguavoen scored. The blockbuster game was made memorable by the kicks of Peter Rufai and Nacerdine Drid, Algeria’s eccentric goalkeeper.

 
3.  1994 World Cup Qualifier
Finidi George scored what proved to be a priceless goal for Nigeria on Friday 8 October 1993 in Algiers to secure Nigeria’s qualification ticket to the 1994 FIFA World Cup after a 1-1 draw – the first by the country in history. 

The joy on the streets in Nigeria was massive and unbridled!

 4.  2018 World Cup Qualifier

Victor Moses (brace) and John Obi Mikel scored Nigeria’s goals while Nabil Bentaleb scored a long range scorcher for Algeria in Nigeria’s 3-1 home win over the Algerians at the Godswill Akpabio stadium Uyo on 12 November 2016 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The second leg ended 1-1 but the game was subsequently awarded to Algeria following Nigeria’s use of an ineligible player, Shehu Abdullahi in a previous World Cup qualifying match.

PS: This piece was first published on All Nigeria Soccer website.