AFCON 2019 (Third Place Play off):

Tunisia 0-1 Nigeria

Nigeria Super Eagles beat Tunisia Carthage Eagles 1-0 in the third place play off match of the AFCON 2019 tourney at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Wednesday night.

A second minute strike from burly forward Jude Odion Ighalo gave Willi Gernot Omeruo’s coached side the third place that also assured them of a podium finish with bronze medals.

Ighalo, a forward based in China with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua pounced home a rebound following Ahmed Musa’s spilled ball from the left.

This was Ighalo’s fifth goal of the championship following earlier strikes against Burundi, Cameroon (two) and lately a penalty against Algeria in the semi-finals.

Tunisia’s Khazri Wahbi had a free-kick blocked from 20 yards on five minutes.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Omeruo sheilds from Yassine

After 11 minutes, Ighalo found himself in an acute angle but the Tunisian defender Nassim Hnid cleared the line.

On the quarter hour mark, Tunisian left back Hadadi Oussama had a shot narrowly sail out.

Nigeria’s Wilfred Onyinye Ndidi was booked by referee Gehad Gerisha for a foul on Badri Ance on 18 minutes.

The North Africans called for their opening change towards the end of the first stanza.

Firas Chaouat was introduced for Yassine Taha Khenissi.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Tunisia’s Wahib Khazri holds his head after a missed chance in the game

Ighalo limped out at the close of the first half.

His place was taken by Galatasaray forward Victor James Osimhen as the second half returned.

Chaouat shot in the side netting three minutes into the second half.

Wahib had a curling shot blocked by defensive wall as Tunisia sought  for the equalizer in vain.

Slit Naim was introduced for Anice Badri Tunisia change after 10 minutes into the second half.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Jamilu Collins of Nigeria closes down on a Tunisian opponent

On the half mark, Tunisia’s Ghaylen Chaaleli got cautioned for a foul on Peter Etebo Oghenekaro.

Three minutes later, Nigeria’s Samuel Chimerenka had a deflected curl for a fruitless corner – kick.

Tunisia suffered a blow when defender Nassim Hnid limped out after 66 minutes.

Hnid’s place was taken by Rami Bedoui.

Nigeria called for their second change with 15 minutes to play.

Skipper Musa was rested for Moses Simon Daddy.

Samuel Kalu Ojim later replaced  Samuel Chimerenka at the stroke of full time.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Nigerian players and officials celebrate after receiving their bronze medals

Nigeria remained the dominant force in the five added minutes of injury time.

Iwobi’s free-kick was parried by goalkeeper Cherifia for a corner before full time.

Nigeria take third place with the final game of the 32nd edition to be played on Friday between Senegal and Algeria.

This is the 8th time that Nigeria has finished third in the history of the AFCON championship.

Previously the Super Eagles finished third in 1976, 1978, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2006 and lately 2010.

Nigeria has been champion on three occasions in 1980, 1994 and 2013.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Celebrations at the Al Salam stadium for the Nigerian team

Team Line Ups:

Tunisia XI:

Ben Moez Cherifia (G.K), Yassine Meriah, Oussama Hadadi, Anice Badri, Wahbi Khazri, Taha Yassine Khenissi, Ferjani Sassi, Drager Mohamed, Ellyes Joris Skhiri, Ghaylen Chaaleli, Nassim Hnid

Subs:

Ben Farouk Mustapha (G.K), Wajdi Kechrida, Dylan Daniel Mahmoud Bronn, Rami Bedoui, Youssef Msakni, Firas Chaouat, Karim Aouadhi, Marc Martin Lamti, Hassen Mouez (G.K), Bassem Srarfi, Ben Mohamed Ayman, Sliti Naim

Head coach: Alain Jean Giresse (France)

Nigeria XI:

Francis Odinaka Uzoho (G.K), Temitayo Olufisayo Aina, Jamilu Collins, Wilfred Ndidi, WIliam Paul Ekong, Ahmed Musa, Peter Otebo Ogehenekaro, Jude Idion Ighalo (46’ Victor James Osimhen), Samuel Chimerenka Chukwueze, Alexander Iwobi, Kenneth Josiah Omeruo

Subs:

Vicent Ezenwa Ikechukwu (G.K), Leon Aderemi Balogun, John Obi Mikel, Henry Chukwuemeka Onyekuru, Abdullahi Shehu, Paul Ebere Onuachu, Moses Daddy Simon, Daniel Akpeyi (G.K), John Ogu Ugochukwu, Collins Chidozie Awaziem,

Head coach: Willi Gernot Rohr (Germany)

Match Officials:

  • Center Referee:  Gehad Gerisha (Egypt)
  • Assistant Referee 1: Mahmound Bouelregal (Egypt)
  • Assistant Referee 2: Issa Yaya (Chad)
  • Fourth Official: Joshua Bondo (Botswana)
  • Commissioner: Celestin Musabyimana (Rwanda)
  • General Coordinator: Kemel Tokabaev (Kazahastan)
John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Nigerian defender William Paul Ekong was named man of the match

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