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.
The 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 to 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.
“The goal somewhat disorganised my players, especially before the break. If the score had remained 1-0, we would have returned in the second half.”
Lekeens says he is disappointed his team did not take their chances in the clash, lamenting a lack of killer instinct among his forwards.