Ighalo’s goal gives Super Eagles another bronze medal

Nigerian players celebrate their bronze medal after beating Tunisia in the third place play-off of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP


Odion Ighalo was the hero as Nigeria got yet another bronze medal at the Total Africa Cup of Nations, this time in Egypt. The China-based striker, who is the leading goal scorer with five goals in the competition, got Nigeria’s winner in the third minute when he capitalized on a mix-up between goalkeeper Moiz Ben Charifia and defender, Yassine Meriah to give the Eagles their eight bronze medal.

Ighalo’s night ended prematurely on a sour note, however, as he was withdrawn at half-time by Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, due to a hamstring problem. Victor Osimhen came on to replace Ighalo at half time.

Tunisia’s Yassine Khenissi hit a low shot from long range in the 13th minute but it went agonizingly wide much to the relief of the Eagles’ bench.

Nigeria’s fullbacks, Ola Aina and Jamilu Collins were attacking outlets for Nigeria and they helped in creating some promising moments, which did not, however, result in a second goal.

Four minutes into the second half, Firas Chaouat received a through pass from Wahbi Khazri but the ball only hit the side net, while Anice Badri’s deflected shot eight minutes later was gathered by Francis Uzoho.

Samuel Chukwueze’s long-range effort in the 63rd minute was parried away for Nigeria’s corner kick. With 10 minutes left to play, Wabhi Khazri waltzed his way past Collins to deliver a cross into the Nigerian box, which the Eagles defense dealt with.

Oghenekaro Etebo headed the ball out of the goal line from Tunisia’s corner kick. Samuel Kalu, who came on for Samuel Chukwueze, with two minutes to play, unleashed a powerful free-kick which goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia tipped over for Nigeria’s corner kick.

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