Nigeria’s failure to take the game by the scruff of the neck after going into an early lead against Algeria was dispiriting.
Terem Moffi opened the scoring from close range after nine minutes in Oran, quietening the din inside the ground momentarily, and there was hope that Jose Peseiro’s men would go from strength to strength.
However, it seemed they shut down after going into that early lead. Rather than control the tempo of proceedings, the West African nation allowed Djamel Belmadi's side to regain control and strangle them for the majority of the encounter.
The absence of composure was evident in the rushed attacks and misplaced passes in their attacking transition.
Through it all, Alex Iwobi stood out. The Everton man is playing top-drawer stuff at the moment, and was Nigeria’s best player in the 2-1 defeat.
He had everything his teammates largely lacked: composure in possession, effective decision-making and execution.