The Desert Foxes of Algeria on Tuesday, beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles 2-1 in a friendly encounter.
Though the Nigerians who showed more hunger in the early stages, took the lead at the 8th minute, they surrendered the advantage and got punished by the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran, Algeria.
Short of attacking options as Victor Osimhen and Sadiq Umar were out battling injuries, Jose Peseiro, the Eagles coach, sent Terem Moffi as the lone striker with Kelechi Iheanacho as the creative link between the attack and midfield that had Alex Iwobi, Frank Onyenka and flanked by Moses Simon and Ademola Lookman.
The Eagles started brightly and took the lead in the 8th minute after the ball bounced awkwardly into the path of Terem Moffi right in front of the Algeria goal mouth. The FC Lorient striker toed the ball home to send the Eagles ahead.
The home side almost replied immediately after Zaidu Sanusi headed waywardly, setting Youcef Bilaili on goal.
Although Bilaili pushed the ball beyond Francis Uzoho, the Nigerian goalkeeper, Riyad Mahrez only managed to hit the side of the post from the ensuing scrap-up.
At the other end, Nigeria could have doubled their lead in the 28th minute after Mustapha Zengha spilled Iheanacho’s shot in the path of Moffi, who teed up Lookman — but the latter was ruled offside after putting the ball into the net.
Iheanacho called the goalkeeper into action, sending two successive shots into his palms.
The home team began exerting themselves in the game, with Uzoho forced to save two freekicks.
Mahrez and Islam Slimani bombarded Sanusi on the right side of the Eagles’ defence as cracks began to manifest.
The pressure paid off for Algeria in the 40th minute. Ramy Bensebaini reacted quickest to a rebound off a shot, and Onyeka dived into a tackle only to take the Algerian down.
Mahrez sent Uzoho the wrong way from the resultant penalty.
Desert Foxes completed the comeback in the 60th minute after Uzoho punched a corner kick and a couple of passes set it nicely for Youcef Attal, who sent 35-yard piledriver flying into the left bottom corner.
Nigeria will play Portugal next in an international friendly billed for November 17.