Nigeria and Algeria will clash for the 21st time at senior men’s level today in an AFCON 2019 semi final encounters that promises lots of fireworks at the Cairo International Stadium.
Three –time champions Nigeria are looking for their fourth title since winning their first on home soil at the expense of Algeria in 1980, while the Algerians are looking for their second gong since their only title won on home soil at the expense of Nigeria in 1990.
Previous encounters between the Eagles and the Desert Foxes have always provided tremendous sparks, and the nature and balance of the rivalry is reflected in the record which shows that Nigeria has won eight of the previous encounters while Algeria had won seven, with five drawn.
After Nigeria swept to Africa Cup of Nations glory on the back of a 3-0 lashing of the Foxes in Lagos in 1980, the Foxes got their pound of flesh by not only stopping Nigeria from reaching the 1982 World Cup, beating the Eagles home and away for their first-ever FIFA World Cup ticket, but also edging Nigeria 2-1 in a group phase match at the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations in Libya.
At the 1984 and 1988 Africa Cup of Nations, their matches were drawn, though the Eagles prevailed on penalty shoot-out in the latter as it was a semi final match and a winner had to emerge.
Nigeria also stopped Algeria reaching the Men’s football tournament of the 1988 Olympics, beating the North Africans 2-0 in Enugu after a lone goal reverse in Annaba, for a 2-1 aggregate win.
In 1990, Algeria hosted the AFCON and opened with a 5-1 spanking of Nigeria, before again piping Nigeria by the odd goal in the final match. Three years later, Nigeria would stop Algeria qualifying for the World Cup, beating the Foxes 4-1 in Lagos and drawing 1-1 in Algiers for their own first-ever FIFA World Cup ticket.
At the 2002 AFCON in Mali, Nigeria piped Algeria 1-0 in a group phase match, and it was the same scoreline eight years later at the AFCON hosted by Angola, with victory this time earning Nigeria the bronze medal.
Most recently, in 2017, Nigeria stopped Algeria from qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, as they bashed the Foxes 3-1 in Uyo and tied the second leg in Constantine 1-1 before FIFA awarded the match to Algeria after the Eagles fielded ineligible defender Abdullahi Shehu.
The winner on Sunday night will proceed to the final match of the biggest-ever Africa Cup of Nations championship, billed for the Cairo International Stadium on the night of Friday, 19th July, against the winner of the first semi- final between Senegal and Tunisia. The Lions of Teranga and the Carthage Eagles clash at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo also today.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: NIGERIA vs ALGERIA
•10 Jan 1973: Nigeria 2 Algeria 2 – Lagos (All-Africa Games)
•28 July 1978: Algeria 1 Nigeria 0 – Algiers (All-Africa Games Final)
•22 March 1980: Nigeria 3 Algeria 0 – Lagos (AFCON Final)
•10 Oct 1981: Nigeria 0 Algeria 2 – Lagos (World Cup Qualifier)
•30 Oct 1981: Algeria 2 Nigeria 1 – Constantine (World Cup Qualifier)
•10 March 1982: Algeria 2 Nigeria 1 – Benghazi (AFCON)
•11 March 1984: Algeria 0 Nigeria 0 – Bouake (AFCON)
•15 Jan 1988: Algeria 1 Nigeria 0 – Annaba (Olympics Qualifier)
•30 Jan 1988: Nigeria 2 Algeria 0 – Enugu (Olympics Qualifier)
•23 March 1988: Algeria 1 Nigeria 1 – Rabat (AFCON semi, 8-9 penalties)
•2 March 1990: Algeria 5 Nigeria 1 – Algiers (AFCON)
•16 March 1990: Algeria 1 Nigeria 0 – Algiers (AFCON Final)
•13 July 1993: Nigeria 4 Algeria 1 – Lagos (World Cup Qualifier)
•8 Oct 1993: Algeria 1 Nigeria 1 – Algiers (World Cup Qualifier)
•21 Jan 2002: Algeria 0 Nigeria 1 – Bamako (AFCON)
•3 July 2004: Nigeria 1 Algeria 0 – Abuja (World Cup Qualifier)
•4 Sept 2005: Algeria 2 Nigeria 5 – Oran (World Cup Qualifier)
•30 Jan 2010: Algeria 0 Nigeria 1 – Benguela (AFCON)
•12 Nov 2016: Nigeria 3 Algeria 1 – Uyo (World Cup Qualifier)
•11 Nov 2017: Algeria 1 Nigeria 1 – Constantine (World Cup Qualifier)*
*Match later awarded 3-0 to Algeria as Nigeria fielded ineligible player.