Nigeria’s Super Eagles cruised past their Algerian opponents, the Fennecs, 3-1 in one of yesterday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Africa. It was a Chelsea show for the Nigerians as winger Victor Moses scored twice and Mikel John Obi got among the goals as well while the Algerians got their solitary strike from Nabil Bentaleb.
Nigeria head coach, Gernot Rohr, turned to Chippa United stopper, Daniel Akpeyi in the absence of injured Carl Ikeme while Oghenekaro Etebo, Moses and Leon Balogun got their first games under the Franco-German.
The Algerians named a strong start list that included Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, Carl Medjani and Bentaleb in the absence of El Arabi Soudani and other top players.
Seven minutes into the game, Moses did well to dink past his marker and then cut inside another Algeria but just could not apply the appropriate finish by dragging his effort off target.
However, the Chelsea man made no mistake 18 minutes later when he gave the Nigerians the lead through an individual piece of play laced with a little bit of good fortune.
Algeria came closest to drawing level on 37 minutes but Bentaleb scooped the ball over the post with Nigeria’s defence in sixes and sevens.
Slimani came close to scoring too but for the alertness of Akpeyi in Nigeria’s goal.
On the stroke of half time, Mikel doubled Nigeria’s lead after Algeria’s back four played the Chelsea midfielder onside to score past Rais M’bolhi.
It was a different performance from the Fennecs in the business end of the game however, as they clawed themselves back by pegging the Super Eagles in their half.
On 67 minutes, Bentaleb fired in a stunner to pull one back for Algeria. Mahrez also came to life as Brahimi could only watch as his attempt went off target on 74 minutes.
It was Moses that turned up at the death to kill off any kind of fight back from the Algerians by picking his spot from Ahmed Musa’s cross to give Nigeria a 3-1 win.
Nigeria now has six points; four more than second-placed Cameroon while Zambia and Algeria have a point each.