They reserved the best for the last. That is the tale of the Flying Eagles as they battered Tunisia 4-0 in Cairo on Friday, a scoreline that recalled their maiden clash 43 years ago in Lagos.
Had they performed the same way last Monday, they would have been in contention for the title on Saturday. Rather, it will be a Senegambia duel for the title.
The Flying Eagles in the tournament scored a total of eight eight goals. Half of these were recorded in the Tunisian clash. But the consolation is the podium finish, the fourth time the team finished third and the 13th time on the podium.
If an all-time table were to be constructed, Nigeria will stay atop following seven titles, two runners-up positions, four third placed finish as well as one fourth place position.
On Friday, they made hays while the sun shone as they went on the offensive right from the kick-off.
FIFA World Cup-bound Nigeria eased to a four-goal victory over Tunisia’s Young Carthage Eagles on Friday to claim the bronze medals at the 17th Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
After nine minutes, they were already a goal up through Ibrahim Muhammad. It was his second goal of the tournament having scored one of the two goals with which Nigeria beat Mozambique in their second Group A game.
Ahmed Abdulahi, whose 85th minute penalty kick miss accounted for Nigeria’s inability to level up with Gambia last Monday made amends on Friday as he scored the second goal just as the second half kicked off.
Jude Sunday made it three for Nigeria only two minutes after to put daylight between themselves and the Tunisians.
Man-of-the-match Jude Sunday rounded off a blistering afternoon and good day in the office for the Flying Eagles with a fourth goal in the 90th minute.
Victory earned Nigeria the bronze medals for a record-extending fourth time at the Africa U20 Cup of Nations, and the Flying Eagles will also be one of the 24 teams in the pot on 31st March when FIFA conducts the draw for the FIFA U20 World Cup taking place in Indonesia 20th May – 11th June.