Nigeria, Algeria in make-or-mar cracker as Senegal 2015 U-23 AFCON group stages draw to a close

By Daily Sports on December 5, 2015

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Nigeria and Algeria will this evening be at each other’s throat at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor, Dakar, seeking survival as the knockout stages of the African U-23 Championship draw to an end in Senegal.

The Samson Siasia-tutored Dream Team VI have not been able to get their acts together, especially in the second stanza of their matches, due to their poor defence network that has seen them concede four goals in two encounters – a wasteful exploit that left them in an uncertain situation now. The U-23 Eagles need a draw of any kind to sail through. However, a defeat against the Fennec Foxes plus a win for Egypt against the already ousted Mali will see Nigeria’s Olympics qualification dream dissolve into the thin air.

It is against thise background that this clash between Nigeria and Algeria promises much. The game would be woven around vigilance, focus, precision, zeal and strength as the battle of wits and guts ranges. Siasia knows there is fire on the mountain. No need to say that this is no time for favourites, but time to instruct the fittest to go into the field, score goals and effectively hold unto them, more so as his name and that of his team are at stake.

Siasia nervously stressed after his last match, that his team again collapsed in the second stanza and must be very fortified against the dodgy Algeria. It won’t be a tea party. It will be a make-or-mar clash – in a way, a must-win game for the Eagles.

Siasia’s words: “We tend to lose concentration in the second half and have to fix it. It was the case in the first game against Mali and the same thing happened against Egypt. We are poised to nipping it in the bud against this slippery North African side. It is no longer funny. It would be practically a tough duel against Algeria, and we have to be extra-careful because they will play us as Young Pharaohs of Egypt, attacking from all fronts. We are ready to counter them frontally. No mercy or miscalculation this time around. We owe this ticket to millions of Nigerians, we won’t afford to disappoint.”

Algerian coach, Pierre André Schurman, appears ready to stick with a 4-4-2 formation and is expected to start with the same XI that defeated Mali on Wednesday as he prepares his team for greater challenges in the critical rounds of the tournament.

The North Africans will have to overcome a combatant Nigeria side, on the threshold of elimination after a surprising draw against the Young Pharaohs despite being two goals up.

Should the game end in a draw, both teams move to the championship’s next stage provided Egypt doe not defeat Mali with more than a two-goal margin.

Daily Sports recalls that Algeria bowed 4-1 to Nigeria in the 2011 edition with Raheem Lawal netting a treble at the Stade de Marrakech, Morocco.

•Photo shows the Golden Eaglets in action.

Source Daily Sports

Posted December 5, 2015

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