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OLD ENEMIES: 5 Memorable Battles Between Nigeria And Algeria

 

 

Nigeria will host old foes Algeria on matchday 2 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier this weekend in a match both teams cannot afford to lose.

 

Ahead of the clash, Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI picks out five unforgettable encounters between the two teams…

 

NIGERIA 3-0 ALGERIA (1980 AFCON FINAL)

 

After finnishing third at the 1976 and 1978 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria were eventually crowned champions of Africa as hosts in 1980.

 

Parading the likes of skipper Christian Chukwu, Felix Owolabi, Segun Odegbami, the late duo of Muda Lawal and Best Ogedengbe, Nigeria defeated Algeria 3-0 in the final to emerge champions.

 

Nigeria raced to a 2-0 first half lead thanks to a brace by Odegbami before Lawal added a third to secure the win.

 

ALGERIA 5-1 NIGERIA (1990 AFCON, GROUP STAGE)

 

Algeria handed Nigeria one of their heaviest defeats at the Africa Cup of Nations following a 5-1 thrashing in the opening game of the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Algeria.

 

Rabah Madjer opened the scoring for Algeria in the first half before doubling their lead early in the second half.

 

Djamel Menad scored the third and fourth goals before Djamel Amani completed the rout with the hosts' fifth goal. 

 

Nigeria's only goal was scored by Emmanuel Okocha less than 10 minutes to the end of the game.

 

NIGERIA 1-1 ALGERIA: NIGERIA WON 9-8 ON PENALTIES (1988 AFCON, S/FINALS)

 

The semi-final clash at the Morocco 1988 Africa Cup of Nations between Nigeria and Algeria was certainly one of the epic encounters between both rivals.

 

Nigeria took the lead on 36 minutes following an own goal by Abdelrazak Belgharbi.

 

With six minutes left, Ademola Adeshina was sent off with Algeria going on to equalise two minutes later through Rachid Maatar.

 

Nigeria defender Bright Omokaro earned the nickname "10-10" after his crunching tackled reduced Algeria too to 10 men.

 

After playing 1-1 in 120 minutes, Nigeria went on to win 9-8 on penalties to advance into the final.

 

The hero for Nigeria was Peter Rufai who stopped Lakhdar Belloumi's spot kick to seal the win for the Eagles.

 

ALGERIA 1-1 NIGERIA (1994 W/CUP QUALIFIER, 2ND LEG)

 

After years of heartbreak, Nigeria eventually qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States of America.

 

Under the tutelage of Dutch coach, Clemens Westerhor, Nigeria beat Cote d'Ivoire and Algeria to claim Group A's sole ticket.

 

Needing just a point to usurp Cote d'Ivoire as eventual Group A winners, Nigeria held Algeria to a nerve-racking 1-1 draw in their last group game to secure qualification.   

 

Finidi George put Nigeria 1-0 ahead 20 minutes into the first half but a 66th minute goal from Abdelhafid Tasfaout drew Algeria level.

 

Despite coming under a barrage of attacks from the Algerians, Nigeria held on to qualify for their first ever World Cup.

 

ALGERIA 2-5 NIGERIA (2006 W/CUP QUALIFIER, 2ND LEG)

 

The last time both Nigeria and Algeria were grouped together in a World Cup qualifier was in the race for the Germany 2006 World Cup.

 

In the first leg at the Abuja National Stadium, Joseph Yobo's late header gave Nigeria a 1-0 win.

 

Following a costly 1-1 home draw against Angola in Kano, Nigeria needed to do what they had never done before, beat Algeria right in their backyard to still be in contention.

 

And that was exactly what they did as Nigeria won 5-2 thanks to goals from Obafemi Martins (brace), John Utaka, Yusuf Ayila and Christian Obodo.

 

Unfortunately, despite the win against Algeria, Nigeria would go on to lose the group's sole ticket to Angola, as they were edged out on the head-to-head rule. 

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