News Live Scores
Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: What did we learn from Nigeria’s 2-1 defeat to Algeria?

16:56 EAT 15/07/2019
Nigeria’s Oghenekaro Etebo and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez Afcon 2019
Mahrez’s well struck free-kick at the death ended the Super Eagles hopes of a fourth continental crown. Here are the take-home points from the game

  • Algeria Nigeria

    Tactical superiority was the difference

    Nigeria might have had the edge over Algeria coming into this clash, with six victories in the last eight. As far as this present Afcon is concerned though, the Desert Foxes were the better side and it showed in their game play. They dominated possession for large parts of the game, having better use of the ball, and pressed high up the pitch. It was therefore no surprise when they took the lead via Riyad Mahrez’s shot – which touched Jamilu Collins and William Troost-Ekong, on the way in. Even when the game was tied at 1-1, they showed more hunger and determination for the winner, and Mahrez popped up again in injury time, with a cracking free-kick which went beyond the reach of the Nigerian wall. Victory was well deserved for the North Africans, who have a genuine shot at lifting their first Afcon title in 29 years against Senegal on Friday.

  • Gernot Rohr - Nigeria

    Semi-finals as far as Super Eagles can go

    Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr stated before his side flew to Egypt, reaching the semi-finals was the main objective. A shame the Super Eagles couldn’t go the extra mile in making it to the final for the first time since 2013. Rohr can be pleased with how far his team have gone because they were not at their best for the bulk of the tournament. They were second best in Group B and were fortunate to beat Cameroon and South Africa, who failed to give them a serious run for their money. An improved Algeria was thus Nigeria’s first and real big test, but they failed to make it stick. They gave the North Africans too much space and time and never found a way through except for Odion Ighalo’s penalty which had VAR to thank. It was the Super Eagle’s only shot on target, compared to their opponent’s four shots. There is a lot to take away from this tournament even as Nigeria prepare to face Tunisia in the third/fourth place match on Wednesday. It is the hope the West Africans improve towards preparation for the next Afcon edition in Cameroon in 2021.

  • Daniel Akpeyi - Nigeria

    Akpeyi needs to urgently improve

    Daniel Akpeyi was surprisingly the number one pick in goals ahead of this tournament, and while his history of making errors could have hurt the team, no goals were directly his fault in Egypt. He has been very jittery whenever he handles the ball, leading to some nervy moments. If the Kaizer Chiefs man is to be the established number one going forward, he needs to work on being more confident in his handling, otherwise, the opposition might not be forgiving next time, and it creates more dilemma on the neverending goalkeeper crisis.  

  • Samuel Chukwueze - Nigeria

    Chukwueze no show

    The Villarreal man has been the liveliest Nigerian at Afcon 2019 and against Algeria, he was going to be tasked with doing what he does best. That is, using his pace and skills to cause the opposition problems. However, he was very limited in doing so against an Algerian defence which was rock solid and stopped every possible space he tried to create. He was ultimately subbed off 12 minutes from time. Not his best day in a Super Eagles shirt. The 20-year old is very much the future of Nigeria and still has a lot to contribute.