Africa Cup of Nations 2019: 3 reasons why Algeria beat Nigeria 2-1
- Riyad Mahrez scored a stunning free-kick in injury time to take Algeria into the final of the Africa Cup of Nations
#2 The Algerian defence was rock solid
Algeria showcased a much more solid defence than the Nigerians. While Nigeria arguably had a number of chances at goal, they couldn't do much to successfully break the rock-solid defence of the Desert Foxes.
Although Nigeria had strength and physciality on their side, the Algerians were able to match them on every front, winning 50% of aerial duels, and winning more tackles than Nigeria during the game.
While this would make yet another match where Algeria is unable to keep a clean sheet, it would be comforting to note that the only goal Nigeria scored came from a penalty.
#1 Nigeria's attack was abysmal
You could genuinely count Nigeria's clear chances in front of goal on one hand.
A lone chance early on in the game saw Nigerian right-back Awaziem head the ball way over the Algerian goalpost. Another chance came from a freekick that M'bolhi took care of easily. The Super Eagles were able to combine teamwork and passing to make for attractive play when they pressured Algeria early in the second half, but the final ball was always lacking.
The closest Nigeria came to scoring from open play was a low shot from Ighalo that went just wide of the goalpost late in the first half. Apart from the penalty, they did not do much to hurt the Foxes in the final third.