Nigeria Vs Algeria
Venue: Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor Dakar
Date: Saturday, December 12, 2015
Nigerian Time: 4:00pm
Something amazing, but not many people knew about the extraordinary gifts of Emmanuel Daniel, Nigeria’s U23 national team first choice goalkeeper. That guy is a master penalty stopper!
Some of his former team mates at 3SC of Ibadan recalled some incidents at their training session then, How the players would bet among themselves during penalty shoot outs and Daniel would stop all the five shots, even those from their best players. It’s something that look almost supernatural, it seems impossible to score him from that spot.
As he goes into the finals of U23 African Cup of Nations on Saturday at Stade Leopord Senghor, Daniel may just turn out to be the final hero of the tournament. All Nigeria’s Dream team need to do is to drag the game against Algeria into extra time and into penalty shoot out, then be rest of assured that Nigeria may likely lift the trophy.
Nigeria and Algeria met in the last Group B match of the on-going tournament, which ended goalless draw. If that repeat again at this finals, then be ready to see one of the most outstanding goalkeeping from Daniel.
I guess Samson Siasia, Nigeria’s U23 Head Coach, would want his boys to go for early goals and probably sit back to soak up any possible pressure from the Algerians.
The last match exposed the North African side to a large extent. The team was quite uncomfortable with Nigerians long balls, cutting off most midfield play over to the attacking line. Taiwo Awoniyi, Junior Ajayi and perhaps, the whiz kid, Victor Osimhen, would be a handful for the Algerian defense this Saturday.
Tactically, Algeria U23 team is well organized in the midfield and easily connects to the attack with their free flowing ball distributions. It would be playing into their hands, if Dream teams decide to play tip-tap, which may exhaust key players like Etebo Ogenekaro and Azubuike Okechukwu – that will be counter productive.