The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in the third place playoff of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
An early goal by Odion Ighalo was enough to secure victory for Nigeria, who now extend their unbeaten run in the bronze matches of the continental tournament.
Ighalo, who scored in the 3rd minute from a defensive error by the Tunis, was taken off before halftime but his 5 goals in the tournament could hand him the Golden Boot award.
The Eagles have never lost a third place match in the history of the tournament.
Having played in the playoff seven times – in 1978, 1978, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 – Nigeria now have eight Nations Cup bronze titles.
Francis Uzoho and Samuel Kalu made their AFCON debuts in the game, with the goalkeeper making the starting lineup in place of Daniel Akpeyi while forward Kalu played as a late substitute for Samuel Chukwueze.
5 goals in as many starts at Africa’s premier competition has only added more credits to Odion Ighalo’s burgeoning reputation.
The Shanghai Shenhua forward top the goalscorers chart during the qualifying rounds.
If there were any beer parlour mutterings that those standout performances were flukes, the former Watford striker have permanently put those to rest.
In a tournament that boasts the distinguished talents of Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez, Egypt’s Mo Salah, Ghana’s Andre Ayew, Tunisia’s Wabhi Kazhri, Ivory Coast’s Wilfried Zaha, and numerous others, to emerge as the finest in sticking the ball into the back of the net is no mean feat.
Strong, tireless, and still only 26, the best of the burly targetman is yet to come