Nigeria’s road to the third place playoff

William Paul Ekong of Nigeria (l) reacts in disappointment after scoring an own goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Semifinal football match between Algeria and Nigeria at the Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 14 July 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Three time champions Nigeria wished to add a new star on their green jersey, but their campaign was cut short at the semifinal. Now they will play for the bronze against Tunisia on Wednesday (17 July 2019) at the Cairo based Al Salam Stadium.

Nigeria started their campaign in the Alexandria based Group B defeating Burundi 1-0. Odion Ighalo scored after 77 minutes to handle the Super Eagles their first 3 points. They then defeated Guinea with the same result, with Kenneth Omeruo scoring the game’s lone goal after 73 minutes. But they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Madagascar in the final group game to finish in second place with six points, one shy of leaders Madagascar.

Nigeria then defeated title holders Cameroon 3-2 in the Round of 16, also at Alexandria Stadium. Ighalo (19, 63) and Alex Iwobi (66) scored for the Super Eagles. In the quarterfinals they defeated South Africa at Cairo International Stadium 2-1, with Samuel Chukwueze (27) and William Troost-Ekong (89) as scorers.

But their way was stopped at the semifinal with a 2-1 defeat to Algeria, with Ighalo scoring Nigeria’s only goal from the spot after 72 minutes. They will now face Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles looking for a place on the podium.

Nigeria’s road to the 3rd place playoff

Group stage   Nigeria 1-0 Burundi

Group stage   Nigeria 1-0 Guinea

Group stage   Madagascar 2-0 Nigeria

Round of 16   Nigeria 3-2 Cameroon

Quarterfinal   Nigeria 2-1 South Africa

Semifinal        Algeria 2-1 Nigeria