Riyad Mahrez: Onyekuru forced me to change direction of free-kick against Nigeria

Riyad Mahrez: Onyekuru forced me to change direction of free-kick against Nigeria

- Riyad Mahrez scored the winning goal against Nigeria in 2019 AFCON semifinal clash

- The Manchester City star revealed he was going for a low shot but realized Onyekuru would block the ball after he saw him throw himself to the ground

- Mahrez opted for a far-left uncovered angle of the post and hit his target with just seconds to the end of the game

Algeria captain Riyad Mahrez has revealed that his side's winning goal against the Super Eagles at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt was inspired by Henry Onyekuru.

The Fennecs won a late minute freekick just at the edge of the 18-yard box and the 27-year-old beautifully sent the ball into the far left corner of the post - leaving Daniel Akpeyi hanging.

Mahrez and a couple of his teammates gathered around the ball deliberating who would take the kick - the same time Nigeria were busy organizing their wall to stop the ball from crossing over.

Read also

Nigeria crash out of U17 World Cup following disappointing loss to Netherlands

While the Manchester City winger was approaching the ball, Henry Onyekuru laid on the floor with the aim of intercepting the shot if it was a low one.

PAY ATTENTION: Install Pitch Football App for FREE to get the latest football News & Scores

But the former Leicester City decided to change the direction of his kick and it became the winning goal for the Desert Foxes, as they progress to the final of the competition.

Mahrez told France Football: “The free-kick? My first instinct was to watch the time on the stadium screen. There, I read that we were in the 94th minute,”

I told myself that the free-kick was perfect for me, that I have to concentrate on the idea in my mind.

"I wanted as few people as possible around the ball. But in Algeria, in this kind of situation, everyone feels it, everyone wants to shoot.

Read also

England legend slams Iwobi for committing blunder in Premier League game against Tottenham

'There’s Youcef Belaili who comes next to me, then I think it's Baghdad Bounedjah. I told him, ‘I'm going to shoot’. I still asked Youcef to stay for the Nigerians to think he'll eventually hit it.

"Initially, I wanted to put it under the wall and then I saw this player who lied behind it. He changed everything.

He continued: "On the spot, I told myself that it's dead over the wall opposite the goalkeeper, and it's dead under the wall because of the player. Only the goalkeeper's side remained.

"From there, I knew it was manageable but I had to focus on my action and I put it hard. And here we go, I was convinced that I was going to do something strong at the Africa Cup of Nations.

READ ALSO: NAIJ.com upgrades to Legit.ng

"I know myself when I play matches, I can score a lot of goals, make assists and be at the top. In Egypt, I had my revenge."

Read also

Disappointing Golden Eaglets lose first match to tough opponents in final group game at FIFA U17 World Cup

Mahrez and his Algerian armies went ahead to clinch the title after beating Senegal in the final of the championship in Cairo.

Legit.ng earlier reported that Nigeria's Super Eagles will hope to kick off their race to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations championship in Cameroon with a win against the Squirrels of Benin Republic.

The two teams are apparently not new to each other having met five times in the continental competition - with the three-time African kings winning all matches.

Despite winning bronze at the 2019 edition of the tournament staged in Egypt in the summer, coach Gernot Rohr's men are battle-ready to ensure they start on a winning note.

Can Nigeria U17 team win a 6th World Cup title in Brazil? | Legit TV

Source: Legit.ng

Online view pixel