Friday, 11 December 2015

Nigeria U23 – Algeria U23 Preview: Dream Team challenges Fennecs for African title


A new Africa U23 champions would emerge at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor on Saturday when Nigeria lock horns with Algeria.

With both teams already assured of a place in Rio 2016, the sides who have not lost in this competition crave for the trophy to participate in the men’s football event of the multisport event as African champions.
Dream Team VI go into this final as slight favourites following the elimination of hosts Senegal in the semi-final and given the experience of coach Samson Siasia.
For Nigeria, this final represents the finish line following their absence from the London 2012 Olympics after a failed expedition at the inaugural edition of the Africa U23 Championship in Morocco. For all the plaudits they have received in recent years, the team has not yet won the competition.
Standing in their way of a first title are Algeria, who arrive in Dakar from their 2-0 spanking of South Africa and oozing with confidence.
Les Fennecs are an organised unit plus a solid backline with no obvious weaknesses and several options in every position. The would hope to cage the former Olympic champions after playing a 0-0 draw during the preliminary round.
Without a star player in the mould of Kelechi Iheanacho and Success Isaac, Siasia has relied on Etebo Oghenekaro to get the goals. The Warri Wolves man has scored three goals in this tourney and is one short of becoming the all-time scorer in the history of the Africa U23 Championship.
Pierre Andre Schurman is expected to name the same team that started against the Dream Team VI as they attempt to become the first north African side to win the competition.
Nigeria defeated Algeria 4-1 in the last edition but that was inconsequential as both teams crashed out of the group stage.

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