With the hurt of losing the semifinal to Algeria still on their minds, the Super Eagles of Nigeria will look to return home with the bronze medal as the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations comes to a close.
The Eagles, who were largely disappointing in the semifinal defeat to Algeria, say they are ready to assuage the feelings of their disappointed fans by performing raising their game against Tunisia and returning with the bronze medal.
Today’s game could also be a farewell for skipper, John Obi Mikel, whose participation remains in doubt following a knee injury picked up after the loss to Madagascar in the group stages.
Ahead of the battle of Eagles, Nigeria midfielder, Alex Iwobi told the media that he is determined to end the competition on a high.
“We always take lessons from our mistakes,” Iwobi said.
“Even though we lost the semifinal, of course it hurts, there is no better place to put it right than in the third-fourth place play-off match.
“We are a young team and hope to return home with the third place. We will enter the game with the needed respect and seriousness.”
The Carthage Eagles had made it through to the semi-finals for the first time since winning the trophy on home soil in 2004.
Tunisia coach Alain Giresse admits his players could struggle to regroup following their gruelling 1-0 loss on Wednesday night.
“I believe this is going to be a psychologically tough encounter because we are not over that defeat from Senegal yet,” the Frenchman said at a press conference.
“This is football and we understand the whole team disappointment – but we have to forget that and focus on Nigeria game.”
The only previous time both Eagles have clashed in the third place match of the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1978, but the encounter in Accra did not end as the Tunisians abandoned the match following Segun Odegbami’s equalizer late in the first half.
CAF duly awarded the match to Nigeria 2-0 and the Green Eagles received the bronze medals.
The match comes up at 8:00pm local time and would be supervised by renowned Egyptian referee, Gehad Grisha.