Nigeria’s Super Eagles Extend Unbeaten Run In World Cup Qualifiers Since 2005
Nigeria on Friday ended the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers unbeaten after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Algeria in Constantine on Friday.
A goal from Hapoel Beer Sheva midfielder, John Ogu, and a converted penalty from Yacine Brahimi ensured the two sides shared the points at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui.
The Super Eagles, who had qualified for the Mundial before the match, finished top of Group B with 14 points while the Algerians are last with two points – the North Africans failed to win a match in the qualifiers. The Eagles qualified with a 1-0 victory over Zambia in Uyo in October.
The draw extended the Eagles’ unbeaten run in the World Cup qualifiers since 2005 when they last lost a World Cup qualifier courtesy of a 1-0 defeat to Angola in a Germany 2006 World Cup qualifier in Luanda.
Zambia host Cameroon in the last match of the group on Saturday.
With injuries ruling out six key members of the first team, coach Gernot Rohr made five changes to the starting team, which defeated the Zambia 1-0 in Uyo in October but the Eagles struggled to control the game on a bad pitch in Constantine
The German started Ola Aina, Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong in defence. Wilfred Ndidi and Ogu were in defensive midfield while Kelechi Iheanacho, Oghenekaro Etebo and Alex Iwobi supported debutant Anthony Nwakaeme in the attack. Ifeanyi Ubah’s Ikechukwu Ezenwa remained in goal.
The Eagles went ahead in the 63rd minute after the ball fell kindly to Ogu from a clearance by Algerian defenders from a corner kick.
But in the 86th minute, Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane pointed to the spot after Abdullahi was adjudged to have fouled Slimani. Brahimi converted the kick to earn a point for the hosts. The Algerians searched for a winner but the Eagles held on for a draw over their bitter rivals
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