The Super Eagles of Nigeria yesterday defeated the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia 1-0 at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo to the third-place playoff at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Odion Ighalo scored the only goal of the game early on, securing the Super Eagles their eighth third-place finish in Nations Cup history.
Nigeria got off to a great start, claiming the lead in just the third minute. Left-back Jamilu Collins provided a low cross which goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifa could only knock into the legs of defender Yassine Meriah - the loose ball fell kindly for Odion Ighalo, who poked it home from close range for his fifth goal of the tournament.
Tunisia responded well to going behind and created some half-chances for the likes of Wahbi Khazri and Anice Badri, though Nigeria goalkeeper Francis Uzoho remained relatively untested throughout the first half, which ended 1-0 in favour of the West Africans.
Both teams suffered injury blows just before the break, with the Carthage Eagles seeing winger Yassine Khenissi replaced by Firas Chaouat, while Nigeria's Ighalo pulled a hamstring on the stroke of halftime and was replaced by Victor Osimhen at the start of the second stanza.
The Super Eagles nearly doubled their lead 18 minutes after the restart, with Samuel Chukwueze sending a curling effort on goal from long range, but Ben Cherifa redeemed himself somewhat with an excellent finger-tip save.
Tunisia came on strong in the final quarter of the match, but they were unable to create any clear chances with which to test Uzoho, leaving Nigeria to claim a 1-0 win and the consolation prize of third place at the AFCON.
The tournament will wrap up on Friday night with the final between Senegal and Algeria from the Cairo International Stadium.