Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Algeria petitions FIFA over Mikel’s goal


tiamin rice

Super Eagles’ Captain, John Obi Mikel (left), celebrating with his teammates after leading Nigeria to a 3-1 defeat of Algeria in a Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier played in Uyo…at the weekend. PHOTO: AFP.

We knew of Akpeyi’s poor positioning, says Bentaleb

An online petition set up by an agitated fan of the Algeria national team aimed at preventing Gambian referee, Bakary Papa Gassama, has gathered momentum, with over 100 people putting their name to it, reports

The 37-year-old allowed John Obi Mikel goal, which the petition claimed was from an offside position, to stand as Nigeria secured a 3-1 win over Algeria in the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Algeria Coach, Georges Leekens, has narrowed his side’s defeat to that second goal scored by Mikel a few minutes to the half time break, as it somehow killed the game off as a contest after 45 minutes.

Video replays analyzed by soccer experts in Algeria claimed Mikel was indeed offside when he scored the second goal for Nigeria and it has led to the online petition.

They want FIFA to ban Gassama from games in the World Cup 2018 qualifiers, particularly matches against them, as they are yet to win a game he has handled.

Meanwhile, on-loan Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Nabil Bentaleb, who scored a screamer against Nigeria, has revealed the secret behind his well-hit drive, which ended up as a consolation for Algeria in their 1-3 loss to Nigeria.

Bentaleb took advantage of a space in front of the defence of Nigeria to lash in an unstoppable drive from over 30 yards beyond Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi.

Now, the Schalke 04 man has revealed he took advantage of the poor positioning of Akpeyi, as noticed by his coach before driving his effort home.

“We were told about his poor positioning by our coaches during the half time break, and when the space opened up I tried my luck from range. I won’t say I expected it to go in but it was worth the try,” he told the Algerian press.

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