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Int’l friendly: Super Eagles defeated by Algeria

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Int’l friendly: Super Eagles defeated by Algeria

A controversial penalty tucked in by Riyad Mahrez, and a 28-yard scorcher by Youcef Atal saw Algeria complete a comeback and condemned the Super Eagles to a 2-1 defeat. 

The international friendly played in Oran on Tuesday saw Nigeria open scoring early in the ninth minute through France –based Terem Moffi.

This was after Moffi escaped the attention of Algerian defenders and hooked the ball into the net as a shot by defender Calvin Bassey was deflected in a goalmouth melee.

Two–time African champions Algeria came close to getting the equalizer ten minutes later when goalkeeper Francis Uzoho upended Riyad Mahrez in the box from a counter-attack, but the hosts had already been caught off-side.

Minutes later, the Super Eagles thought they were 2-0 up when Ademola Lookman finished calmly as they counter-attacked, but Algerian referee Mehrez Melki ruled it off-side.

Mahrez levelled up scores at 1-1 for the North Africans five minutes from recess when he slotted past Uzoho after referee Melki adjudged that Frank Onyeka had fouled Youcef Belaili in the Nigerian box.

The Super Eagles were missing several first-team players, including strikers Victor Osimhen and Sadiq Umar, midfielder Wilfred Ndidi and defenders William Ekong and Jamilu Collins.

Notwithstanding, they created a hatful of chances in a frenetic first half that would have made the game a fait accompli. The hosts wrapped up the game when Youcef Atal, latching on to a free ball from 28 yards after a poorly cleared corner kick, slammed past a badly-positioned Uzoho.

Nigeria will next face Portugal in a friendly in Lisbon on November 17.

(NAN)

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