Algeria coach Georges Leekens has disclosed why his team lost 3-1 to Nigeria in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday, November 12, 2016.
Speaking in an interview with FIFA.com ahead of the 2017 African Cup of Nations, Leekens claimed that his team poor start to the game caused them the defeat.
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According to him, his players played well in the second half but would have won the game if they had played better in the first half.
He said: “African teams usually start games at full throttle, but without testing their opponents.”
“Then, as the minutes go by, the intensity drops which is when you have to step things up and make the difference.
“Against Nigeria, for example, we played well in the second half, but only after we’d let in two goals in the first. If we’d played at the same level for the whole match, we would have won.”
Algeria are zoned in Group B of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations alongside Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Senegal but Leekens is hoping his team starts the tournament strong and go ahead to win it.
He said: “We want to win this tournament and take part in the Confederations Cup, but all I’m thinking about right now is negotiating our first match well against Zimbabwe and then the second against Tunisia.
“As far as I’m concerned, these are our two biggest games at the start of this year.”
Recall that a brace from Chelsea’s Victor Moses and captain John Obi Mikel handed Gernot Rohr’s men a 3-1 win over Algeria at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, two months ago.