Nigeria vs Algeria: Three (3) Nigerian stars that have haunted Desert Foxes in the past
Nigeria and Algeria have come a long way in football history as both sides have met on a couple of occasions.
While both sides cannot be said to be the biggest of rivalry, both sides do not take each other lightly on the pitch.
In truth, Nigeria is more rivaled by Black Stars of Ghana and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon as we have seen in the past.
But the Desert Foxes (the Algerians) have got Tunisia and most Importantly Egypt and possibly Morocco as major foes.
However, having clashed with the Nigerian side in a couple of meetings in the past, there are players that have engineered Nigeria’s win over the Desert Foxes.
As the International friendly looms between both sides, we evaluate some Eagles’ players who have haunted the North Africa in the past.
Segun Odegbami (Nigeria 3-0 Algeria)
The then Green Eagles defeated the North Africans side 3-0 in the African Cup of Nations final in Surulere, Lagos back then in 1980.
The Green (Super) Eagles then led by Otto-Gloria made sport of the Algerians as they trounced them with three goals.
The likes of Segun Odegbami and late Muda Lawal were notably influentials in Nigeria’s triumph on the occasion.
Exemplary winger Odegbami bagged a first-half brace to make it 2-0 before the intermission. Muda Lawal added the third in the second half to complete the scoring as Nigeria clinched their first African Cup of Nation trophy on home soil in 1980.
(Rashidi Yekini) Nigeria 4-1 Algeria
The exemplary Super Eagles star was a devastating figure in the qualifying fixture against Algeria prior to the USA 1994 World Cup. The Algerians took the lead away from home through Abdelhadif Tasfaout. But the goal awakened the fury of the Super Eagles as Austin Okocha equalized to make it 1-1. However, Rashidi slammed in two of his 37 international goals for Nigeria to make it 3-1.
Those strikes brought calmness and senses of superiority to the Super Eagles before Daniel (the Bull) Amokachi slammed in the fourth goal to make it 4-1 as the Clement Westerhof’s side secured the all-important win.
Obafemi Martins (Algeria 2-5 Nigeria)
The weapons of mass destruction lived up to his nickname as he proved too good for the Algerians in the seven-goal thriller.
The Super Eagles run away with a convincing 2-5 win in World Cup qualifying match, thanks to the class and the mesmerizing form of attacking trio of John Utaka, Nwankwo Kanu and the impressive Olympic Marseille midfield star Wilson Oruma.
However. it was Martins that finished things up as he grabbed a goal in each half despite the Algerians drawing level (2-2) at some point in the clash.
The former Inter Milan star was the hero of the night as he finished off the Algerians in a classy style.
Other goals came from John Utaka, Yusuf Ayila and Christian Obodo (debut goal for Nigeria) later on, though Nigeria missed out on a place at the World Cup.