Nigeria’s coach Rohr wary of much improved Algeria

Algeria’s Islam Slimani and Rais M’Bolhi celebrate at Egypt’s Suez Stadium after Thursday’s victory. (Reuters)
Updated 14 July 2019

Nigeria’s coach Rohr wary of much improved Algeria

  • Six military planes to fly fans to Egypt if Desert Foxes reach final

CAIRO: Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr admitted he expects a far tougher challenge against Algeria in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations semifinals than during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The Super Eagles finished top of a section including 2017 African champions Cameroon and Algeria on the road to Russia last year, defeating the Desert Foxes 3-1 at home before a 1-1 draw in the return fixture.
Algeria were later awarded a 3-0 walkover for the second game in Constantine after Nigeria fielded an ineligible player, and Rohr has been impressed by their improvement since Djamel Belmadi took over last August.
“He’s done a very professional job. They were shaky at the time. We beat them 3-1 (in Uyo) and they made lots of individual errors and defensives mistakes that made it easier for us to win. They were also fragile in the draw,” Rohr said on Saturday.
“Now I see a solid Algeria side with a good balance between attack and defense. They’re still physical but they have come on since and it will be a much harder match than in World Cup qualifying.”
Nigeria eliminated holders Cameroon in the last 16 before knocking out South Africa, the conquerors of hosts Egypt, in the quarterfinals in their first Cup of Nations since lifting the title for a third time in 2013.
Rohr’s side have bounced back strongly following a shock 2-0 loss to Madagascar that cost them top spot in their group here, leaving the German confident they can overcome an Algeria team that has scored 10 goals in Egypt while conceding just once.

The one that we won was in 1990, a long time ago when it was at home. We’ve never won since. This is away from home, it’s more difficult of course.

                                               Djamel Belmadi, Algeria coach

“As coach you’re always optimistic. We know they’re a good side but we have a strong team too. We can reasonably hope to win based on our last two performances but we’re wary because of our opponents,” said Rohr.
“We still have things to improve, for example if we have chances to score a second goal we need to be more clinical. They’ve been more impressive than us on the whole so far.”
Algeria’s hopes of winning their first Africa Cup of Nations for 29 years will be boosted by the arrival of another 600 fans on board military planes should they reach Friday’s final.
The Ministry of Defense said six military planes will be used to shuttle supporters of the Desert Foxes to Cairo for the final if they beat Nigeria in Sunday’s semifinal.


Spurs stumble again as Chelsea and Leicester win

Newcastle United’s Dutch defender Jetro Willems vies with Chelsea’s Canadian-born English defender Fikayo Tomori during Saturday’s in London. (AFP)
Updated 20 October 2019

Spurs stumble again as Chelsea and Leicester win

  • Tottenham narrowly avoid embarrassing home defeat to bottom club Watford

LONDON: Tottenham narrowly avoided an embarrassing home defeat to bottom club Watford on Saturday as Chelsea and Leicester leapfrogged champions Manchester City in the Premier League. With leaders Liverpool not in action until Sunday, it was a chance for the chasing pack to press their credentials for top-four spots.
Chelsea's Marcus Alonso broke the deadlock for Frank Lampard's side at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle for a 1-0 win while Youri Tielemans sealed a 2-1 victory for Leicester at the King Power Stadium.
But Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino saw his side labor to a 1-1 draw at home to Watford, following a 3-0 thrashing at Brighton and a humiliating 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich.
Spurs, who reached the Champions League final in June, have now won just three of their opening 12 games in all competitions and appear unable to halt their slide.
Tottenham got off to an awful start as they fell behind in the sixth minute, Abdoulaye Doucoure finishing superbly from Daryl Janmaat's assist.
Dele Alli grabbed a late leveller for Spurs with his first goal since January. There was major confusion as it appeared as if VAR had ruled out the effort, but it was allowed to stand.
Leicester held a minute’s silence before kick-off to remember their late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash at the stadium last October.
Chris Wood put Burnley in front but Leicester’s in-form forward Jamie Vardy headed an equaliser just before half-time and Tielemans completed the turnaround with just over 15 minutes to go.

BACKGROUND

Spurs, who reached the Champions League final in June, have now won just three of their opening 12 games in all competitions and appear unable to halt their slide.Spurs, who reached the Champions League final in June, have now won just three of their opening 12 games in all competitions and appear unable to halt their slide.

Ahead of City's match at Crystal Palace later on Saturday, Leicester were second in the Premier League table, seven points behind leaders Liverpool, while Chelsea, also on 17 points, were third.
Matt Targett scored a goal deep into injury time as Aston Villa came back from 1-0 down to beat Brighton 2-1.
Southampton took the lead against Wolves at Molineux, courtesy of a Danny Ings goal but Raul Jimenez hit back from the penalty spot just eight minutes later after Matt Doherty was brought down.
Bournemouth drew 0-0 at home to Norwich.
In the early kick-off on Saturday, Everton climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a well-deserved 2-0 victory against West Ham that eased the pressure on Marco Silva.
A first-half goal from Brazil forward Bernard and a late second from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson gave Everton the three points in a match in which they had 19 shots.
"It was a fantastic performance," Sigurdsson told BT Sport. "We had a lot of chances, especially in the second half. You never know when it's 1-0 -- you always want to get more.
"They are dangerous going forward and their goalkeeper made some spectacular saves. I was pleased to come on and give us a bit of comfort. There was a real purpose to our game today."
Manchester City head to Crystal Palace in the late match on Saturday. Pep Guardiola left Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez out of his starting line-up but there was a place on the bench for defender John Stones after an injury lay-off.
Liverpool travel to face struggling Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, chasing a record-equalling 18th consecutive Premier League win while Arsenal face Sheffield United on Monday.