Ramy Bensebaini’s fifth minute strike settle score as the Super Eagles slumped to a third straight defeat to African champions Algeria 1-0 in an international friendly at the Worthesee Stadium, Klagenfurt, Austria on Friday.
Bensebaini poked home from close range after the Eagles defence failed to clear their lines from a corner kick.
Thereafter, the Algerians were clearly the better side in the friendly tie, as the Eagles largely struggled for pace, and stability following the absence of midfield duo Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo.
The defeat was the 11th the Eagles have suffered under Gernot Rohr and. It also ended their five-match unbeaten run of three wins and two draws, since they lost to Algeria in the semi-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Everton forward Alex Iwobi had the Eagles’ best chance in the 21st-minute with a long range effort that went just wide.
In the 35th minute, Paul Onuachu’s flick off a cross from Zaidu Sanusi narrowly missed target.
Said Benhrama and Andy Delort were at the forefront of the Desert Foxes’ onslaught, with the later forcing a brilliant save from the impressive Maduka Okoye with a 25-yard free-kick early on.
The Eagles had conceded three goals in their previous two games, and their defensive fortitude was managing to keep the Fennecs at bay as the game wore out.
In the second half, the Eagles failed to record a single short on target, as the Algerians piled on the pressure.
Okoye made a smart save to deny Farid Bolaya a goal.
The 21-year-old keeper made four fantastic saves including palming away a dangerous effort at the near post.
Despite the defeat, Nigeria coach Rohr will have some positives to take home.
Sparta Rotterdam keeper Okoye will definitely stake a claim for the team’s number one position with his saves against the North Africans.
Returning right-back Tyrone Ebuehi was also impressive in Klagenfurt.