Nigeria secured a vital win over their North African counterparts in Tunisia to clinch the bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt with Ighalo the only scorer in the game.
Odion Ighalo scored just within three minutes after latching on to a loose ball resulting from some defensive gaffe in Tunisia’s red zone after an inswinging cross from Jamiu Collins.
After that goal, the Tunisians pressed forward, holding onto the ball and trying to make something of it but defensive midfielder, Etebo who was wonderful on the night pegged back every forward movement they made. He was simply rock solid at the middle of the park.
In spite of their pressing, the Carthage Eagles lacked the spark and creativity in the final third and were unable to register a goal or create any real threats before the break.
Just before the break, Ighalo suffered a hamstring injury and was escorted into the dressing room with Victor Osimhen brought on for the Shanghai Shenhua striker. Ighalo’s opening goal made it his fifth for this year’s AFCON competition, puting him as favourite to win the Golden boot title.
After the break, both teams parried the ball back and forth with the Super Eagles of Nigeria walking across the pitch like mere pedestrians. They struggled to force quick counter attacks through the left flank but Ahmed Musa failed to show the busts of pace and creativity he was known for.
Chukwueze on the other hand showed why he was a growing prospect in Spain, forcing a super save from Tunisia goalie with a curling effort from his left foot after receiving the ball from a corner.
Moses Simon was brought on for Musa and Simon Kalu for Chukwueze with Kalu showing his set piece skills. He nearly found the back of the net with the first freekick and was kept out by a wonderful save in the second after sweeping the ball below the wall.
With this win, Nigeria have now won eight bronze medals at the AFCON competition including those won in 1976, 78, ’92, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010.