U-23 AFCON: Nigeria qualify for semi-final after Algeria stalemate


Nigeria were held to a 0-0 draw by Algeria in their last Group B game of the Africa U23 Championship played at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor, Dakar on Saturday.

With both teams tied on four points, a draw coupled with a poor outing for Egypt would certainly take both sides to the semi-final.

Egypt, shockingly were stunned 1-0 by the already eliminated Mali – meaning the Dream Team and Algeria qualify as group B runner-up and winner respectively.

Unlike previous games at the tournament, fans witnessed a cautious approach from both sides devoid of any real pattern.

The Samson Siasia-led team created the clearer goalscoring opportunities in the early stages but failed to convert.

Algeria goalkeeper Abdelkadir Salhi put in an excellent display and made a superb save in each half, scooping Junior Ajayi’s strike away following a pinpoint Muhammed Usman pass in the first period before keeping out Eyo Ebong’s effort in the second half.

In the latter stages, the Eagles still kept more possession but failed to unlock an already sealed Desert Foxes’ defence.

Nigeria will now face tournament host, Senegal, while Algeria will lock horns with South Africa in the semis.

Three teams qualify automatically for the Rio Olympics with the fourth going through a play-off.