Nigeria claimed third place at the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations following a 1-0 win against Tunisia on Wednesday in their playoff match at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.
Shanghai Shenhua forward Odion Ighalo scored the only goal of the game in the third minute.
With the game in its early stages, Nigeria launched an attack and Jamilu Collins’ low cross was parried by Tunisian goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia against defender Yassine Meriah’s legs allowing Igahlo an easy tap-in from the loose ball.
The goal, Ighalo’s fifth of the tournament, puts him two clear of his nearest rivals in the race for the golden boot. Riyad Mahrez and Adam Ounas (both Algeria), Cedric Bakambu (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Sadio Mane (Senegal) all have three goals.
However, Mahrez, Ounas and Mane have a chance to overtake Ighalo as their teams play in the final at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday.
Ighalo was unable to add to his tally after he was substituted on the stroke of halftime with a hamstring injury.
Tunisia offered little in attack despite controlling possession registering their only shot on target in the 57th minute of the game. Ben Cherifia kept the Nigerians out with a couple of good saves during the match.
The result means Nigeria has now finished in third place in eight different Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. Nigeria has also won each of its seven 3rd/4th place playoff matches at the Cup of Nations.
Tunisia, meanwhile, has won only one out four 3rd/4th place playoff matches at the tournament.