With a tremendous effort, Algeria’s Fennec Foxes attempted to disallow the history made by Nigeria’s Dream team VI on Sunday, December 12, in the under-23 Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria had previously played a goalless draw with Algeria in the group stage of the just concluded AFCON.
This record almost put Nigeria’s fans in jeopardy when the Algerians finally equalized in the final game with a devastating own goal scored by the under-23 defender, Olusegun Oduduwa.
Nigeria’s highest goal scorer of the tournament, Oghenekaro Etebo dissolved the dark clouds with the brightest green colors, as Nigerian fans clamored in jubilation after scoring the second goal that gave Nigeria the 2 – 1 victory over Algeria for the second time.
However, phobia returned as Olusegun Oduduwa committed a foul that lead to a penalty kick against Nigeria. The Nigerian goalkeeper, Emmanuel Daniel brilliantly saved the goal, putting the Algerians under pressure throughout the game as Nigeria secured their victory.
The Flying Eagles met the Fennec Foxes for the third time in the history of the under-23 AFCON championship this past Sunday, having a goalless draw and two winning games since 2011.
Nigeria’s Dream Team VI, Azubuike Okechukwu received the Confederation of African Football, CAF award as the most valuable player of the tournament, Oghenekaro Etebo emerged the highest goal scorer, while the Algerian goalkeeper Abdelkadir Salhi was honored as the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
One can only hope this victory can resonate with the dwindling performance of Nigeria’s senior football team, the Super Eagles.