The Desert Foxes are widely tipped to progress to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations when they face Nigeria on Sunday but history suggests otherwise.
These two teams have a rich rivalry to look back on and a long record of great clashes to be proud of.
Nigeria’s men football national team, then referred to as the Green Eagles, won their first ever Afcon title as hosts in 1980, defeating their North African brothers by three undisputable goals in the final.
The Algerians returned the favour ten years later, hosting and winning the Africa Cup of Nations, beating Nigeria 1 – 0 in the title decider.
Le Fennecs have not been to another final since, nearly three decades on. Incredibly, this is just the second time the Foxes have reached the semifinals of the AFCON since winning the trophy 29 years ago.
During that same period, the Super Eagles have made it to three other final matches, winning two.
In recent times, Nigeria have become a mountain too steep for Algeria to climb.
The Super Eagles were the reason Algeria did not make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Placed in the same qualifying group, Nigeria walloped them 3 – 1 in Uyo to shatter their Mundial dream.
That was a repeat of what happened during the qualifying rounds of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Nigeria and Algeria found themselves in the same group as Ivory Coast.
It was joy back then for Nigerian fans as the Clemens Westerhoff-managed side thrashed Le Fennecs 4 – 1 in Lagos before being forced to a draw in Algiers. It was those results that sealed Nigeria’s place in the Mundial for her first ever participation.
At the 2002 AFCON in Mali, a Julius Aghahowa strike in the first half helped Nigeria advance from the group stage and sent Algeria home to millions of disappointed fans.
At the 27th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, Angola 2010, Nigeria saw off the challenge of the Foxes yet again in the third place match, stopping the Algerians from picking up a consolation prize, the bronze medal.
The winner of this titanic clash will be guaranteed a spot in the final match of the biggest ever Africa Cup of Nations championships, billed for the Cairo International Stadium on Friday, July 9th.
History calls for the green and white.