The Super Eagles now have a new opponent in their first of two friendly games for October, they were billed to play their West African rivals previously in Austria.
In a statement issued by the Nigeria Football Federation, on Friday, reigning African champions Algeria were announced as the new opponents that have replaced Cote d’Ivoire who were originally lined up for the Eagles.
The NFF said the Federation Ivorienne de Football, on September 22 sent them a letter regretting their inability to send a team to Austria for the game as earlier agreed, citing “internal problems.”
However, what at first seemed a disappointment turned into delight as stronger Algeria immediately accepted the challenge to test their might once more against three-time African champions Nigeria on October at the Jacques Lemans Arena.
“We have permission from our government to travel from Algeria to Austria and our country has reopened international flights. We also would like to confirm that FIFA match agent Me Jairo Pachon is authorised to carry on all the required work and planning in Austria in order to stage this event,” wrote Mohamed Saad, General Secretary of the Federation Algerienne de Football the statement from the NFF revealed.
Next month’s international friendly in Austria would be the fourth meeting between the Super Eagles and the Fennecs in three years.
Both teams were in the same qualifying pool for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with the Eagles trouncing the Fennecs 3-1 in Uyo before a 1-1 draw in Constantine.
The two teams faced-off again in the semifinal of last year’s African Cup of Nations in Egypt, with the Fennecs edging it 2-1 from a free-kick just outside the box at the death, and then going on to defeat Senegal in the final to clinch their second continental title.
Tunisia, rated number two in Africa and 26th in the world, will be the Super Eagles’ second opponents at the Jacques Lemans Arena four days after the Algeria game.
See list of full squad invited: