Algeria coach Georges Leekens claims the Desert Foxes were robbed by Gambian referee Bakary Gassama against the Super Eagles in their Russia 2018 World Cup Group B qualifier in Uyo on Saturday.
Chelsea right wing-back Victor Moses struck a brace as Nigeria beat Algeria 3-1 to pick up their second win in the World Cup qualifiers and open up a four-point lead at the top of the table – after Cameroon were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Zambia in the group’s other fixture.
The North Africans, who have just a point after two games, are left with a mountain to climb to keep alive their chances of qualifying for the World Cup for the fifth time, having played in the tournament in 1982, 1986, 2010 and 2014.
And the Greens’ Belgian manager Leekens, who vowed the 1990 African champions would strive to get their qualification hopes back on track, believes the result of the Uyo encounter could have been different had the referee not accepted Nigeria’s second goal from Mikel Obi when the score was 1-0.
Mikel, who is out of favour at Chelsea, fired in from close range three minutes before half time after receiving a through-ball from Oghenekaro Etebo with the Algeria defence attempting keep him offside.
“Nigeria’s second goal is not valid. There was indeed an offside position,” the 67-year-old former Belgium manager was quoted as saying by the influential Algerian newspaper Le Buteur on Sunday.