The Olympic Eagles finally gave the country a little pride as they won for Nigeria her only medal at the Rio Olympics when they defeated hard-fighting Honduras 3-2 to clinch the bronze medal.
Nigeria’s players William Ekong (L) and John Obi Mikel (R) celebrate after receiving their bronze medals during the medal ceremony after defeating Honduras in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s bronze medal football match at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on August 20, 2016. File photo
Umar Sadiq opened scoring for the Samson Siasia-tutored boys when he slotted home a through pass from team captain John Mikel Obi in the 34th minute. Aminu Umar again added the second four minutes into the second half before Sadiq again took his tally in the game to two with the third goal.
As is typical of Nigerian teams, the boys went to sleep, believing victory was already sealed, an action that gave the Central Americans strength to cruise unstoppably from then on..
And it almost paid off for them as Antony Lazano and Marcelo Pereira reduced the tally with their goals in the 71st and 86th minutes respectively.
At this point the Nigerians who were obviously exhausted started stumbling and moving back, leaving captain Obi upfront to harass the Honduran goalkeeper. Honduras continued to make dangerous incursions but the U-23 team kept warding them off until the Brazilian referee, Sandro Ricci sounded the final whistle.