The Nigeria Football Federation has congratulated the U23 National Team for winning bronze at this year’s Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Brazil, after edging Honduras 3-2 in Belo Horizonte on Saturday.
Usman Mohammed headed over the woodwork in the 19th minute but Emmanuel Daniel had to be at his best to thwart a long range shot three minutes later. Ezekiel failed to score from a good position in the 26th minute and Sadiq Umar poorly directed his header in the 29th minute.
Daniel had to rush out to intercept and then save a one-on-one situation, before Captain Mikel Obi combined brilliantly with Ezekiel Imoh to tee up Sadiq Umar for Nigeria’s first goal in the 34th minute.
Honduras, who lost 1-3 to Nigeria at the Four –Nation Invitational Tournament in Suwon, Korea Republic in June, hit the sidenet at the close of the first half, but Aminu Umar increased Nigeria’s lead four minutes after recess after pouncing on the ball as the goalkeeper dropped Mikel Obi’s shot.
Within six minutes, Nigeria led 3-0 as Sadiq Umar shot into the net from another Mikel Obi pass. But the Honduras did not give up and Antony Lozano pulled one back in the 71st minute, before Marcelo Perreira ensured a tense finish by heading past Daniel with four minutes left.
Victory meant Nigeria has now won gold, silver and bronze from the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament over the past 20 years. They scooped gold in 1996 and picked silver eight years ago, also under Samson Siasia.