Leekens: Why Algeria bowed to Nigeria

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The Greens’ handler has given an insight on what led to the Green’s defeat in Uyo, and his aspiration in Gabon 2017

Algeria coach Georges Leekens has revealed why his team crumbled 3-1 to Nigeria in November’s Fifa World Cup qualifier.

A brace from Chelsea’s Victor Moses and captain John Obi Mikel were all Gernot Rohr’s men needed to silence the Greens at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.

And the tactician in an interview with Fifa.com stated what went wrong with his team despite putting up a strong performance in the second half.

“African teams usually start games at full throttle, but without testing their opponents,”Leekens explained.

“Then, as the minutes go by, the intensity drops, which is when you have to step things up and make the difference.

“Against Nigeria, for example, we played well in the second half, but only after we’d let in two goals in the first. If we’d played at the same level for the whole match, we’d have won.”

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Algeria are zoned in Group B of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations alongside Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Senegal, an Leekens is hoping to subdue his foes to emerge as champions.

“We want to win this tournament and take part in the Confederations Cup, but all I’m thinking about right now is negotiating our first match well against Zimbabwe and then the second against Tunisia.

“As far as I’m concerned, these are our two biggest games at the start of this year.” 

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