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Football | World Cup 2018

John Ogu © Gallo Images

Late penalty gives Algeria draw v Nigeria

Yacine Brahimi scored a last gasp penalty to help Algeria register a 1-1 draw against Nigeria in a 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui in Constantine on Friday night.

The Algerian skipper kept his cool with two minutes remaining to cancel out John Ogu's rasping effort as the Super Eagles ended their qualifying campaign unbeaten with 14 points from six fixtures.

As for the Fennec Foxes, the North African's failed to win a single game and as a result Group B paints a gloomy picture for a side brimming with European-based stars.

Leicester City duo Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani almost linked up for the game's opener within the opening minute. The towering forward just unable to guide his header attempt on target.

Both teams struggled to find any sort of rhythm on what was a bumpy pitch, with the rest of the half a rather scrappy affair.

Anthony Nwakaeme, though, did have a rare chance on the cusp of halftime, but Faouzi Chaouchi was well positioned to gather his powerful volley attempt with relative ease.

The game really started to kick into life following the interval and Algeria should've hit the front on the hour mark, but Aissa Mandi somehow failed to find the back of the net with his header attempt from point-blank range.

He was duly made to pay for this miss as Ogu struck home the game's opener in the 63rd minute. His left-footed shot from range leaving the Algerian goal-minder with little chance.

Slimani then failed to convert when it looked easier to score on what was quickly turning into a frustrating night for the hosts. The forward guiding his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.

Ikechukwu Ezenwa, though, would eventually be beaten as Brahimi converted from the spot in the 88th minute after being fouled inside the area.

The Porto winger conjuring a point for Algeria to bring an end to a disappointing campaign as Nigeria now set their sights on Russia and the world stage.

Algeria (0) 1 (Brahimi PEN 88')

Nigeria (0) 1 (Ogu 63')

Algeria: Chaouchi, Mandi, Cadamuro, Chafaï, Nessakh (Abdelaoui 30'), Medjani, Ferhat, Bennacer (Bounedjah 76') , Mahrez (Hanni 56'), Brahimi, Slimani.

Nigeria: Ezenwa; Abdullahi, Ola Aina, Balogun, Ekong, Etebo, J.Ogu, Ndidi, Nwakaeme (Onyekuru 71'), Iwobi (Musa 81'), Iheanacho.


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