Odion Ighalo’s third minute strike was enough to hand Nigeria the bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after edging Tunisia 1-0 Wednesday night.
Ighalo pounced from range, after Tunisia goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifa had spilled a cross from Jamiu Collins, to give the eagles a lead they never relinquished at a sparsely filled Al Salam stadium.
The third-place playoff never burst to life, with both sides looking weary from their semifinal exertions.
Francis Uzoho, making his tournament debut, showed good command to handle balls lofted into the area from the Tunisians as the Super Eagles kept it tight at the back.
Gernot Rohr’s men seemed content with their lead, and failed to really threaten the Carthage Eagles for much of the match.
Nigeria’s chances of increasing their lead took a hit when Ighalo pulled off injured just before half-time.
His substitute, Victor Osimhen, pulled a save from Ben Cherifa midway through the second period as Nigeria sat back and hit on the breaks.
Tunisia’s best chance to draw level fell to substitute Firas Chaouat, but his chipped effort sailed harmlessly wide as Uzoho charged down at him.
Substitute Samuel Kalu came close to doubling Nigeria’s lead with a 35-yard free-kick in stoppage time, but his effort was tipped over the bar by Ben Cherifa.
Rohr and his bench jumped in celebration when Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha blew the final whistle.