The Super Eagles of Nigeria did not perform particularly well in the 2-1 quarter-final victory over South Africa, but William Troost-Ekong’s late winner was an example of how their sheer pedigree in this tournament can sometimes be enough to get them over the line.
The Eagles’ record under Franco-German tactician Gernot Rohr, who has managed in Africa since 2010, is seriously intimidating, losing to an African side on just two occasions over the last three years.
One of those defeats came in their final group game against Madagascar, during which Rohr rested several players given that Nigeria had already qualified for the knockout stages.
Since that loss, the Super Eagles have progressed to the last four through a pair of pulsating encounters with Cameroon and South Africa, coming from behind to beat the former 3-2 and knocking out the latter – who had beaten hosts Egypt to reach the quarters – through a late bundled finish from a corner by defender Troost-Ekong.
Nigeria started the quarter-final strongly and went ahead through a quick flowing move involving former Leicester City winger Ahmed Musa and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, whose smart jink down the left-hand channel opened up space for Samuel Chukwueze to score.
Algeria possible starting lineup:
M’Bolhi; Bensebaini, Benlamri, Mandi, Attal; Guedioura; Belaili, Bennacer, Feghouli, Mahrez; Bounedjah
Nigeria possible starting lineup:
Akpeyi; Awaziem, Troost-Ekong, Omeruo, Collins; Ndidi, Etebo; Iwobi, Mikel, Musa; Ighalo
Algeria 2-1 Nigeria
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