A place in the final of the continental showpiece is at stake when the three-time African champions battle the North Africans in Cairo on Sunday

The battle for the coveted continental title in Egypt is getting tense and Nigeria will lock horns with Algeria in one of the semi-finals.

 

Sunday’s showdown will be the Desert Foxes’ first appearance in the last four stage since 2010 and seventh overall, while the Super Eagles will be making their 14th semi-final appearance, more than any other team.

 

Nigeria and Algeria have met in the final of the competition twice, the Super Eagles winning in 1980 and the Desert Foxes in 1990.

 

The last outing between the two teams ended in a 1-1 stalemate back in 2017 during the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, but Fifa overturned the result and gave the North Africans a 3-0 win as punishment after Nigeria fielded an ineligible player.

 

Algeria have been impressive in Egypt with fine attacking and defensive displays so far, winning all their games with just a goal conceded, as they aim for their first continental title since 1990.

 

They have scored 10 goals in the competition with Adam Ounas scoring the most goals for Djamel Belmadi’s side, with three goals and one assist.

 

The Napoli midfielder has been involved in a goal in every 30 minutes of the games he played [121 minutes].

 

He joins captain Riyad Mahrez, Baghdad Bounedjah, Islam Slimani, Youcef Belaili and Ismail Benaccer in the list of danger men who could cause havoc to Super Eagles defence.

 

Nigeria have shown character and resilience in the knockout stage by eliminating reigning champions Cameroon and South Africa in the Round of 16 and quarter-finals.

 

The Super Eagles are yet to lose to the Desert Foxes since 1990 and they will be looking to extend the run in Cairo on Sunday.

 

Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo have been outstanding in the middle of the park for the Super Eagles and no player has won more possession than them in the tournament – Ndidi [41], Etebo [46].

 

Ahead of the encounter at the Cairo International Stadium, Rohr hinted Galatasaray striker Henry Onyekuru and Sporting Charleroi attacker Victor Osimhen could get some playing minutes.

 

“We have nine strikers in the team, played seven but we cannot play all of them at the same time. The young are also here to learn,” Rohr told the media.

 

“Out of 23 players, 20 players have played already which is a lot and I hope we can see the other two [Osimhen & Onyekuru].

 

“It is difficult for the third goalkeeper coming in. The moment has come to bring the best team against Algeria.”

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