Nigeria’s U-23 team won Team Nigeria’s first medal as the team defeated Honduras 3-2 in the third place match of the Rio Olympic Games Men’s football at the Mineirão, Belo Horizonte Stadium, on Saturday.
Having lost to Germany 2-0 in the semifinal on Wednesday, the team had the opportunity of redeeming their image against a Honduras side that was thrashed 6-0 by Brazil and wasted no time to open the floodgate of goals as Umar Sadiq netted in the 34th minute to the delight of the cheering fans in the stadium.
Nigeria continued with the momentum as they extended their lead in the 49th minute thanks to Aminu Umar’s easy finish to beat the Honduras goalkeeper, Luis López before Sadiq completed his brace in the 56th minute to put the team in a comfortable position.
However, the Honduras team had other options as they mounted more pressure on the Dream Team VI which eventually paid off in the 71st minute as Anthony Lozano scored to reduce the scoreline to 3-1. The goal created some tense moments for the Nigerian players as they made some silly mistakes at the back line, which later resulted to a goal in the 86th minute, as Marcelo Pereira headed home from a free-kick to give Honduras an outside chance of pegging Nigeria back.
After the final whistle, Nigeria’s U-23 team celebrated their bronze medal feat and also add to the collection of a gold medal they won at Atlanta ’96 Olympics and silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.