The Super Eagles of Nigeria fell to a 2-1 defeat against Algeria in the much-anticipated friendly game at the Olympic Stadium in Oran, Algeria.
Uzoho’s tomfoolery, clingy pitch invader, other talking points from Super Eagles' defeat to Algeria
The major talking points from Nigeria’s latest show of shame as the Super Eagles lost 2-1 to Algeria
Nigeria took the lead through Terem Moffi’s goal but were pegged back in the first half by a Riyad Mahrez penalty and then Algeria won it in the second half through a long-range strike by Youcef Atal.
As disappointing as the outcome was from a Nigerian perspective, the game did have some notable talking points which will be explored below.
Goalkeeping position remains a problem for Super Eagles
What’s a Super Eagles match nowadays without a goalkeeping error? A question for either one of Maduka Okoye and Francis Uzoho.
On this occasion though, it was Uzoho’s turn to torment Nigerians, a task which he performed with utmost zest in 90 minutes against Algeria.
The 23-year-old was jittery in goal as usual and had several questionable moments especially in the first half when he nearly gave away a goal.
He did eventually do what he had threatened all night at the hour mark as Uzoho’s comical goalkeeping was the major reason Youcef Atal scored the winning goal from over 30 yards out.
Super Eagles’ boss Jose Peseiro will be expected to respond with a routine shuffle in Nigeria’s next game by giving Maduka Okoye another opportunity to equalise Uzoho in the race to frustrate Nigerians.
Kevin Akpoguma and Calvin Bassey looked good together
Peseiro started this game with a new Super Eagles central defensive partnership with Calvin Bassey and Kevin Akpoguma and it looked like it worked.
Well, technically they did concede two goals in a poor defeat for Nigeria but both players displayed good chemistry for people had never been paired before now.
Beyond their performance against Algeria, Akpoguma/Bassey presents Nigeria with hope that there is a chance to be free from the ‘Oyinbo Wall’ sooner rather than later.
The Oyinbo Wall made up of 34-year-old Leon Balogun and 29-year-old William Troost-Ekong are well past their best years but remain regulars in the team due to a seeming lack of options, which has now been remedied by Bassey and Akpoguma.
The pitch invader
About five minutes after Nigeria conceded the winning goal, the game was paused because of a regular occurrence in football.
A pitch invader who we can only assume is Algerian made his way to the pitch and clung very tightly to the Algerian stars on the pitch.
It was one of the more interesting moments in what was a disappointing second half in comparison to the first.
The stewards would eventually separate the fan from the player he was clinging to and the game proceeded as planned.