Nigeria, joined by Algeria, limp into World Cup play-off

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Nigeria, joined by Algeria, limp into World Cup play-off 

The Super Eagles soared into the Playoff Round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after they were held to a 1-1 draw by the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on Tuesday.

Victor Osimhen put Nigeria ahead in the first minute, tucking home Moses Simon’s cross.

The hosts’ lead lasted five minutes with Stopira equalising for the Blue Sharks.

It was all Super Eagles afterwards with Alex Iwobi, Ighalo and Joe Aribo all fluffed their chances.

Gernot Rohr’s men will now slug it out with other football heavyweights on the continent for one of the five slots given to Africa in the play-offs set for March 2022.

Like Nigeria, African champions Algeria have become the latest two sides to progress to the play-off round of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers after both picked up draws in their last round of matches on Tuesday.

Issoufou Dayo had scored from the penalty spot to draw the Burkinabe level and they were determined to get the win that would have seen them not only break Algeria’s unbeaten run but also earn them a place in the play-off.

However, the home side defended well to guard the point that takes them closer to a ticket to Qatar.

Algeria broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when Youce Bellaili squared a ball from the left and the Manchester City forward had to simply side foot the ball home unmarked. Mahrez came close to a second in the 32nd minute when teed up by Islam Silimani but he curled the ball just wide.

Burkina Faso however got the equalizer in the 37th minute through Zakaria Sanogo who volleyed the ball home off a Gustavo Sangare through pass.

In the second half though, Algeria came with more vigour and they went back on top with substitute Feghouli finding the back of the net after another neat assist from Bellaili.

Despite being a goal down and needing two to progress, the Burkinabe side did not lose their hearts. They kept the fight and earned the equalizer seven minutes to time from the spot after Djamel Benlamri clipped Mohamed Outtara’s heels inside the box.

However, they could not conjure a comeback as Algeria played a 33rd match without tasting defeat.

Nigeria, joined by Algeria, limp into World Cup play-off 

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