By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja
Nigeria’s Super Eagles failed to end the unbeaten run of the reigning African champions Algeria, as the Eagles were defeated by the Desert foxes 1-0 in an international friendly match decided in Austria.
The encounter was the first match for the Gernot Rohr- led Eagles in 2020.
Algeria’s Ramy Bensebaini in a 6th minute tap-in made the difference as the Foxes extend their unbeaten run to 19 matches.
Failure to come into the match in the early minutes of the international friendly tie against a well organized Desert Foxes cost the three-time African champions back to back loss to the North Africans.
FC Midtjylland midfielder, Frank Onyeka, was handed his debut appearance in the middle of the park while Porto left-back Zaidu Sanusi made his bow for the West Africans.
Meanwhile, Coach Gernot Rohr has dismissed criticism that he prefers players born abroad to local stars, saying he is determined to choose the best for the country.
“We don’t take into account where a player was born before he is invited. We only look at the quality of the player,” said the German-born Super Eagles coach.
“It doesn’t matter where they were born, it only matters how well they can play.
“I don’t know the player who is born in Europe and who is born in Nigeria,” he said.
“All the players are proud to be with the team. These players say I want to play for my fatherland.”