Algeria’s World Cup dreams are over no thanks to the Eagles, who will continue to punish the North Africans for killing Nigeria’s Mundial ambitions on home soil in 1981. This is the submission of Pillar of Sports, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
According to Kalu: ”The Desert Warriors have come to the end of the road. The 1980 Nations Cup winning Eagles will never forgive them for that World Cup qualifier that sent Nigeria packing 35 years ago. It affected those Green Eagles negatively.”
The former Abia State governor painted a clearer picture of the anguish.
“That 0-2 loss to Les Fennecs in Lagos retired Christian Chukwu permanently from international soccer. Segun Odegbami was stripped of the Captain’s band. Tunde Bamidele lost the opportunity of playing professional soccer abroad, and for the very first time, Aloy Atuegbu, watched from the bench as an Eagle,” Kalu said.
Ever since that ouster, the Algerians, also known as the Greens [El Khadra], have not beaten Nigeria in a World Cup match. On the way to USA ’94, the Eagles beat them 4-1 in Lagos, in a match Austin Okocha scored his first goal for the national team.
To cap it all, the Eagles earned their first ever World Cup ticket on Algerian soil thanks to Finidi George’s late equalizer that ended the second leg 1-1.
During the Germany 2006 qualifiers, Nigeria beat Algeria 1-0 in Abuja and went on to massacre their hosts 5-2 in the return leg. Unfortunately, that was not enough to take the Eagles to Deutschland.
Kalu also taunted Algerian veteran, Lakdar Belloumi, over comments that the Eagles will be under pressure in Uyo.
“Yes, Belloumi has forgotten so easily that the days of Rabah Madjer, Faouzi Mansouri, Nourrredine Kourichi and Mustapha Dahelb only blossomed after Eagles pounded them 3-0 to win the 1980 Nations Cup. They beat us black and blue a year later. Now, the Eagles have cursed Algeria not to beat them again in a World Cup match. And that curse cannot be washed away soon, not even by a veteran,” he added.