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Nigeria exit Africa Cup of Nations due to a slow start and late inexperience

A late Algeria winner meant Nigeria's Cup of Nations run came to an end at the semifinal stage.

CAIRO -- Three thoughts on Nigeria's 2-1 defeat to Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations semifinal.

1. Nigeria start slow, catch up, then succumb late

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr opted for an unchanged lineup for the first time this tournament, naming the same 11 starters that zipped to a 2-1 win over South Africa in the quarterfinal. While the names on the team sheet might have been the same, though, the output was decidedly different.

There was none of the early energy that was seen against...

Mahrez sends Algeria to final in stoppage time

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Riyad Mahrez's wonderstrike in stoppage time pushed Algeria into the AFCON final.

Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez's stunning free kick in stoppage time gave Algeria a 2-1 win over Nigeria in a tense Africa Cup of Nations semifinal played in a volatile atmosphere on Sunday.

It was a goal from the moment it left Mahrez's left foot as he stepped up and bent his shot into the far corner to leave goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi helpless and send Algeria to their first final since 1990 -- the only time they won the tournament.

- Africa Cup of Nations: All you need to know
- Full Africa Cup...

Africa Cup of Nations down to the final four: Who will reach the final?

Julien Laurens questions if Algeria have the energy to beat Nigeria and reach the final after their dramatic win over Ivory Coast on penalties.
ESPN FC's Stewart Robson shares his thoughts on who will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
Julien Laurens explains why he's not confident Senegal can handle the pressure when they face Tunisia in the AFCON semifinals.

The Africa Cup of Nations is down to its final four. Nick Ames takes a look at the semifinal matchups, and reveals who of Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria and Algeria will be moving on to the final.

Algeria vs. Nigeria

Backstory: Until their dramatic shootout win over Ivory Coast, Algeria's run through AFCON had been as sleek as they come. They did not concede a goal until Jonathan Kodjia's equaliser for the Elephants, and looked the tournament's most complete team in all departments. A firing attack...

Dare Super Eagles fans start dreaming beyond an Afcon title?

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson shares his thoughts on who will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Africa Cup of Nations semifinals are not uncharted territory for Nigeria. And why would they be, when they've been to 14 of those already and won every single one of them?

The last time the Super Eagles failed to get past the quarterfinals was in 2008 when they lost to hosts Ghana. A semifinal was thus the lowest bar that the NFF top brass had set for coach Gernot Rohr going into the tournament.

Serious rumblings within the hierarchy, especially after that ignominious capitulation to Madagascar...