Algeria face Nigeria in AFCON semi-finals

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will take on the Desert Foxes of Algeria in a make or break encounter on Sunday at 7:00 pm Ghanaian time.

The winner of this tie will face the winner of the Tunisia-Senegal game which is the first semi-final game.

Algeria 

Algeria will play their seventh AFCON semi-final, their first since 2010, having qualified only twice in their previous six. Three of their AFCON semis have gone to penalties (winning once in 1980 and losing in 1984 and 1988).

The Desert Foxes had to dig deep to beat Ivory Coast 5-4 on penalties after a one-all in 120 minutes of football.

Youcef Belaili is one of Algeria’s form players at the AFCON. Belaili was particularly lively in the quarter-final against Ivory Coast. 

The attacker created five goal-scoring opportunities, more than anyone else on the pitch and has already proven himself to be decisive, having netted twice in the tournament.

Sofiane Fegouli scored Algeria’s only goal in their 1-1 draw against Ivory Coast, which they won 5-4 in a penalty shootout.

Nigeria 

Nigeria will play their 14th AFCON semi-final, more than any other team. However, the Super Eagles have qualified for the final only once in their past five semis. It was against Mali in 2013 (a 4-1 win).

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have had more rest than Algeria, because they played on Wednesday and won the game within 90 minutes while their opponents overcame Ivory Coast on Thursday and the even did so after 120 minutes of football in addition to a nervy penalty shootout.

Samuel Chukwueze’s goal in the 2-1 win over South Africa in the last round made the 20-year-old, the youngest goalscorer at the tournament.

 Possessing a dazzling combination of blistering pace and fine dribbling, the Villarreal star is an explosive talent and will surely be key if the Super Eagles are to get past Algeria.

Nigeria midfielders Peter Etebo (46) and Wilfred Ndidi (41) have won possession more times than any other outfield players at the AFCON.

Head to head

Desert Foxes and Super Eagles have played 20 games in all competitions. The have won eight games apiece with four ending in a draw.

Algeria and Nigeria will face each other for the ninth time in the AFCON, becoming the most regular encounter in the competition for both teams. The record between them is perfectly balanced, with three wins apiece and two draws.

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