2019 AFCON: Nigeria claim bronze after beating Tunisia

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
The Nigeria players celebrating with their bronze medal
The Nigeria players celebrating with their bronze medal

An Idion Ighalo third minute strike was good enough to win the bronze place medal for Nigeria in the third place match against Tunisia at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Wednesday night.

Indeed that was all that separated the two sides in the battle of the Eagles that was more for pride than the bronze medal.

Usually, such consolation games need up being boring but this game sparked off right from the start and the early goal added an impetus.

From their formation of 4-3-3, the Carthage Eagles had come with a defensive set up to hold the Super Eagles as they had done in their previous matches.

However, they were forced to abandon that game plan when Nigeria scored that early goal.

Ighalo capitalised on a golden chance in the box placed his way when a defender failed to clear a ball badly handled by goalkeeper Ben Cherifia in a bid to foil a goal attempt from Jaimilu Collins

That would be the only goal as efforts in the remaining half and subsequently in the second half produced many glorious chances and exciting play, without productive results.

Unfortunately, Ighalo whose goal puts him ahead on the top scorers' chart with five goals, had to be withdrawn very early in the second half after pulling a hamstring.

The Tunisians threw in everything in a bid to get the equalisin goal hoping to push the game into extra time, but failed to get past the resolute Nigeria defence who fought hard to preserve their early lead to finishe as the tournament's third best side.