Algeria coach Georges Leekens has refused to throw in the towel despite his team’s 3-1 defeat to Nigeria in Uyo on Saturday.
The loss means the Fennecs are five points adrift of the Super Eagles in Group B of Russia 2018 African qualifying, but Leekens is not daunted.
“We’ve not given up on qualification,” Leekens said. “I never give up, it’s in my nature not to give up.
“We still have a mathematical chance of qualifying so it’s not over.
“It’s a tough group and anything can still happen. Are you sure you (Nigeria) will qualify because you’re on top at the moment? Nigeria can still lose and the group will be open again.
“We played well against Nigeria today but we missed good chances to score and we got punished.”
Leekens, who coached Anderlecht, the club the late Stephen Keshi starred for, took a moment to pay his respects to the former Nigeria coach and captain who died earlier this year.
“I must use this opportunity to mention Stephen Keshi, a great player who I knew in Belgium. It’s sad he’s gone but I’ll always remember him as a special person.”