The Super Eagles will take on reigning African champions Algeria in an international friendly billed for Austria today (Friday).
It is the first time both teams will take on each other since the 2019 AFCON semi-final which the Algerians won.
Both teams settled for a 2-2 draw but while Nigeria qualified from the group stage to the semi-finals, Algeria crashed out.
Nigeria went on to the final and won the gold medal beating Guinea 2-0.
ALGERIA 1-0 NIGERIA (1978 All Africa Games: Final)
The 1978 All Africa Games was hosted in Algiers with Algeria and Nigeria making it to the final of the football event.
The game was Algeria’s first ever win against Nigeria as they triumphed 1-0 to claim the gold medal.
Ali Benchiekh’s 33rd minute goal secured the win for the Algerians in front of 60,000 fans packed inside the Stade 5 Juillet.
NIGERIA 3-0 ALGERIA (1980 AFCON: Final)
For the first time in their history, both Nigeria and Algeria made it to the final of the AAfrica Cup of Nations at the 1980 edition hosted by Nigeria.
But it was Nigeria that emerged victors thanks to an impressive 3-0 win to land their first continental title.
A brace from Segun Odegbami and another goal from the late Musa Lawal gave Nigeria the win.
NIGERIA 0-2 ALGERIA (1982 World Cup Qualifier: 1st Leg, Play-off)
Following their 3-0 humiliation in the hands of Nigeria in the final of the 1980 AFCON, Algeria got their pound of flesh and qualified for their first ever World Cup in Spain 1982.
In the first leg of the play-off in Lagos, Algeria stunned Nigeria 2-0 with goals from Lakhdar Belloumi (34th minute) and Djamel Zidane (44th minute).
ALGERIA 2-1 NIGERIA ( 1982 World Cup Qualifier: 2nd Leg, Play-off)
In the reverse fixture of the 1982 World Cup qualifier play-offs, Algeria defeated Nigeria 2-1 to qualify for their first ever Works Cup. Algeria advanced 4-1 on aggregate to progress.
Lakhdar Belloumi (ninth minute), current coach Rabah Madjer (84th minute) scored for Algeria, while Okey Isima (39th minute) got Nigeria’s goal.
ALGERIA 2-1 NIGERIA ( 1982 AFCON: Group Stage)
Nigeria and Algeria were drawn in the same group at the 1982 AFCON. Zambia and Ethiopia were also in the group.
Once again Algeria triumphed over Nigeria with a 2-1 win to reach the semi-finals.
Nigeria took the lead through Emmanuel Osigwe in the 40th but Okey Isima’s own goal on 44 minutes drew Algeria level.
And in the 65th minute, Salah Assad scored what proved to be the winner.
NIGERIA 0-0 ALGERIA ( 1984 AFCON: Group Stage)
The 1984 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire once again saw Nigeria and Algeria drawn in the same group.
Also in the group together with Nigeria and Algeria were Ghana and Malawi.
After 90 minutes, both countries ended the tie goalless and progressed together to the semi-finals.
NIGERIA 1-1 ALGERIA: Nigeria won 9-8 on penalties ( 1988 AFCON: semi-final)
In the semi-final of the 1988 AFCON in Morocco, Nigeria defeated Algeria 9-8 on penalties after 120 minutes ended 1-1.
An own goal by Abdelrrazak Belgherbi gave Nigeria the lead in the 39th minute.
But with four minutes remaining, Rachid Maatar equalised for Algeria.
ALGERIA 1-0 NIGERIA (1988 Olympic Qualifiers: 1st Leg play-off)
Before FIFA changed the rules where only players under 23 years were allowed to play in the football event of the Olympic Games, countries senior national teams were involved in the qualifiers and the competition proper.
The new rule took effect at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
And in the first leg play-off of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games qualifiers, Algeria pipped Nigeria 1-0.
Cherif Oudjani scored the only goal of the first leg in the 47th minute.
NIGERIA 2-0 ALGERIA ( (1988 Olympic Qualifiers: 2nd Leg play-off)
The second leg of the 1988 Olympic Games qualifiers between Nigeria and Algeria was played in Enugu.
Ademola Adeshina (32nd minute) and Henry Nwosu (114th minute) got the goals for Nigeria that secured qualification to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
ALGERIA 5-1 NIGERIA (1990 AFCON: Group Stage)
In the opening game of the 1990 AFCON hosted by Algeria, the Super Eagles were at the receiving end of a 5-1 bashing from the hosts.
Rabah Madjer (36th, 58th minute), and Djamel Menad (69th, 72nd minute) both bagged a brace while Djamel Amani 88th minute scored one goal.
Emmanuel Okocha got Nigeria’s only goal with eight minutes remaining.
ALGERIA 1-0 NIGERIA ( 1990 AFCON: Final)
Both Algeria and Nigeria met again in the final of the 1990 AFCON but once again the North Africans triumphed thanks to a 1-0 win to land their first continental title.
The hero for Algeria was Cherif Oudjani whose 38th minute strike won the game for the hosts.
NIGERIA 4-1 ALGERIA (1994 World Cup Qualifier: 1st Leg, Group Stage)
The final group stage qualifiers saw Nigeria, Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire grouped together.
In their second group game, Nigeria thrashed Algeria 4-1 to secure their first group stage win.
Abdelhafid Tasfaout gave Algeria a shock early lead before Rashidi Yekini (brace), Daniel Amokachi and Austin Okocha all scored to give Nigeria the win.
ALGERIA 1-1 NIGERIA ( 1994 World Cup Qualifier: 2nd Leg, Group Stage)
Nigeria eventually qualified for their first ever World Cup held in USA in 1994 after holding Algeria 1-1 away in their last group game.
Finidi George gave Nigeria the lead on 19 minutes before Sidi Ahmed Zerrouki equalised on 71 minutes but the Super Eagles held on for the point they needed to qualify.
NIGERIA 1-0 ALGERIA ( 2002 AFCON: Group Stage)
In the 2002 AFCON held in Mali, Nigeria were with Algeria, hosts Mali and Liberia in the same group.
Nigeria’s first game was against Algeria which was won thanks to Julius Aghahowa’s 43rd minute goal.
While the Super Eagles went on to qualify for the quarter-finals, Algeria crashed out in the group stage.
NIGERIA 1-0 ALGERIA ( 2006 World Cup Qualifier: 1st Leg, Group Stage)
The qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup saw Nigeria and Algeria drawn in the same group with Zimbabwe, Angola, and Gabon.
Nigeria’s third game in the group was against Algeria in Abuja with the Super Eagles winning 1-0, the goal coming from Joseph Yobo on 84 minutes.
ALGERIA 2-5 NIGERIA ( 2006 World Cup Qualifier: 2nd Leg, Group Stage)
The penultimate group game in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers between Algeria and the Super Eagles was played in Oran.
Nigeria needed an outright win to still be in contention to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.
The Super Eagles thrashed Algeria 5-2 to secure their first ever win on Algerian soil but it was ultimately not enough to qualify.
NIGERIA 1-0 ALGERIA ( 2010 AFCON: 3rd Place)
After losing to rivals Ghana in the semi-final of the 2010 AFCON in Angola, Nigeria met Algeria in the third place match.
Super Eagles won the game 1-0 following Obinna Nsofor’s goal in the 55th minute.
NIGERIA 3-1 ALGERIA ( 2018 World Cup Qualifier: 1st Leg, Group Stage)
For the fourth time, Nigeria and Algeria met in the qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup.
Nigeria and Algeria were drawn in a difficult qualifying group that had Cameroon and Zambia.
On match day two, Nigeria hosted Algeria in Uyo and won 3-1 to make it back-to-back wins in the group.
Victor Moses scored twice (25th, 91st minutes) and Mikel Obi (42nd minute) also got on the score sheet for the Super Eagles.
Algeria’s goal was scored by former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb (67th minute).
Algeria 3-0 Nigeria (2018 World Cup Qualifier: 2nd Leg, Group Stage)
Played in Constantine, the game originally ended in a 1-1 draw but was overturned by FIFA and Algeria awarded a 3-0 win.
Nigeria’s Shehu Abdullahi played in this game even though he should have been suspended for picking up yellow cards in two previous qualifiers.
The defender was cautioned in the Super Eagles 1-0 win over Zambia in October that sealed Nigeria’s spot in Russia, having been shown a yellow card in the first leg of their second round tie against Swaziland in November 2015.
The Nigeria Football Federation was also fined US,000 for the oversight.
The sanction did not affect Nigeria’s FIFA World Cup finals qualification as they had already clinched a place in Russia before the Algeria game.
Algeria 2-1 Nigeria (2019 AFCON: Semi-final)
A late Riyad Mahrez free-kick secured a 2-1 win for Algeria against the Eagles in the semi-finals of the 2019 AFCON.
It was Algeria’s first win against the Eagles at the AFCON since the 1-0 win in the final of the 1990 edition which they hosted.
At last year’s AFCON, Algeria opened scoring in the 40th minute off a William Troost-Ekong own goal.
In the 72nd minute The Eagles were back on level terms thanks to Odion Ighalo who converted from the penalty spot.
But in added time Mahrez decided the game with a superb free-kick from the edge of the box.
Algeria vs Nigeria: Five things to expect as Super Eagles play first game in 2020
The Super Eagles will be testing their might against the Desert Foxes of Algeria, who also are the reigning African champions.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria are set for what is their first game of the year having been hampered just like others by the coronavirus pandemic.
After initially lining up a game against the Elephants of Cote d’ Ivoire who have since pulled out, the Super Eagles will be testing their might against the Desert Foxes of Algeria, who also are the reigning African champions.
Ahead of Friday night’s duel, here are five things to expect as Super Eagles play the first game in 2020:
The Super Eagles coach has 26 players at his disposal for the friendly game against Algeria and then Tunisia.
Though Gernot Rohr has expressly declared that he cannot guarantee that all the 26 players will taste action, it is very certain that among the eight players that are looking forward to debut appearances with Nigeria national team, as much as half of the number will get the chance against Algeria to prove their mettle.
Mathew Yakubu (SKF Sered), Zaidu Sanusi (FC Porto), Samson Tijani (Hartberg), Chidera Ejuke (CSKA Moscow) and Cyriel Dessers (Genk) are all in line to earn their first-ever senior cap.
Some players are also expected to debut for Algeria against the Super Eagles.
Not a barren game
Though Friday’s friendly does not readily look like one that would witness a harvest of goals, it does not strike as one that would end in barren draw either.
Games between Nigeria and Algeria in almost 50 years have always produced at least one goal, except on one occasion, in 1984.
So, fans can expect one, two or more goals in Friday’s outing.
Nigeria to keep the head-to-head advantage
In their 20 previous encounters, it is the Super Eagles that have a slight edge over their North African counterparts.
Nigeria have nine victories, three draws and eight losses.
There is the optimism that the Super Eagles will at least pick a draw in this tie to maintain their slight edge over the Desert Foxes who actually won the most recent tie between the nations.
The Eagles lost 2-1 to Algeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.
Ekong for 40th Cap
While Rohr has kept his team selection for the Algeria friendly close to his heart, the Franco-German needs the experience and solidity of the likes of William Troost-Ekong at the centre-back to give the Desert Foxes a run for their money.
Should Ekong get to feature against the reigning African champions, it would be the 40th cap for the Dutch-born defender.
Since making his debut against Chad in June 2015, the 27-year-old has gone on to be a regular face in the Nigerian defence, keeping 13 clean sheets.
A fast-paced duel
With Algeria and Nigeria boasting of fleet-footed players that can run any defence ragged, then one can expect a fast-paced encounter with some level of physicality too.
Samuel Chukwueze, Ahmed Musa, Riyad Mahrez and Sofiane Feghouli are not only fast on the ball but they possess the trickery to cut wide open opposing defences.
The Algeria, Nigeria friendly match will take place at the Wörthersee Stadion in Klagenfurt, Austria by 7.30 pm.