Nigeria secured third place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after Odion Ighalo's early strike proved to be the difference between themselves and Tunisia, handing the Super Eagles their eighth third-place finish in the tournament.
Ighalo netted his fifth goal of the tournament just three minutes into the match after Ahmed Musa's left wing cross was palmed away by
A first shot on target for the Eagles of Carthage finally came in the 57th minute, as Anice Badri struck an effort from 30 yards which Nigeria 'keeper Francis Uzoho held comfortably.
Key Talking Point
A strong side no doubt, but few expected Tunisia to reach this stage of the tournament, given the quality of some of the sides featuring this year. They failed to excite in the first half, seeing as much of the ball as their opponents but failing to test
Starting XI: Ben Cherifia (4); Drager (5), Hnid (5), Meriah (5), Haddadi (6); Chalali (5), Skhiri (6), Sassi (6); Badri (5), Khenissi (4), Khazri (7*)
Star Man - He was wasteful in front of goal, but Wahbi Khazri was the sole creator in an otherwise uninspiring Tunisia performance. In the second half he took the game by the scruff of the neck, desperate to claw his side back into the match.
There is evidence of prior Premier League quality there, with trickery and endeavour evident, but on this occasion the former Sunderland man was left all on his own to carve open the Nigerian defence, and it proved too much.
Wahbi Khazri — Ben Kunga (@Ben_kunga) July 17, 2019
Key Talking Point
Despite having the youngest squad in the competition, the Super Eagles were among the favourites to lift the trophy for this years' edition of the tournament.
A lively opening from the Nigerians saw them grab the opener, and
Starting XI: Uzoho (7); Collins (6), Omeruo (7), Troost-Ekong (7), Aina (7); Ndidi (6), Etebo (6), Musa (5), Iwobi (6), Chukwueze (6); Ighalo (7*)
Substitutes: Simon (5), Osimhen (6)
Star Man - He could only manage 45 minutes after suffering an unfortunate hamstring injury at the tail end of the first half, but nevertheless, Odion Ighalo reaffirmed his importance to Rohr's side with a clinical finish.
It was a mere tap-in for the former Watford man, yet it is his clever thinking in forward areas and killer instinct that mean he could well end up as the tournament's top scorer - barring
Ighalo has had an amazing tournament.— Barnabas 'Barny' Emordi (@barnyee_) July 17, 2019
Totally deserves the golden boot.
Lionel Ighalo right!?— El_magnifico (@Magni5scent) July 17, 2019
Both sets of players from either side will now take an expected holiday before linking up with their respective club sides ahead of the coming season.