After Nigeria and Tunisia were ousted in heart-wrenching manners in their respective semi final clashes at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), both teams will now square-up against each other in the third place game.
Over the years, games for third place ate usually considered inconsequential, but when you consider the prize money at stake ($2,000,000), one is tempted to think that both teams will give it all they’ve got.
On the part of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, they will be looking to continue their good run in AFCON third-place games, having won seven of their previous seven third-place matches.
Despite getting to this stage of the competition, there is a growing feeling that the team has underwhelmed in terms of performance, having lost two matches in the competition so far.
Gernot Rohr was in pragmatic mood following the end of their bid to become champions, praising a squad that was the youngest at the 2018 World Cup and admitting that their tactical and technical quality will improve with age.
For Tunisia, their coach Alain Giresse, a former Footballer of the Year in France, has led them to just one defeat in 10 before their semi-final loss, including a win in Croatia during the build-up to this summer’s tournament.
They are resolutely hard to break down and eventually disposed of Madagascar comfortably in the quarter-finals, seeing off the tournament surprise packages by scoring three goals without reply in the second half.
All of the goals conceded by Tunisia at this year’s tournament have arrived in the final third of matches, with both of the goals scored against them in the knockout stages coming after the 90th minute.
– Rohr is will likely make changes in order to give the younger talents a chance, with the likes of Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo liable to make way. That would pave the way for the likes of Henry Onyekuru and Victor Oshimen to get a shot in the game.
Also, Chidozie Awaziem will be absent due to suspension, while captain, John Obi Mikel isn’t passed fit for the game.
-Tunisia’s Coach, Alaine Giresse could freshen up his side following their extra-time endeavours against Senegal. Defensive midfielder Ferjani Sassi is an option should the coach opt for a more guarded approach against opponents capable of potency, while new prospects such as 18-year-old Leverkusen midfielder Marc Lamti could be brought in.
Head To Head
-Each of the previous five meetings between the two countries ended without a winner after the regular ninety minutes
-The last time Nigeria and Tunisia didn’t finish all squared was in January 2000. Tunisia went 2-0 up inside 16 minutes when they played Nigeria then, only for the Super Eagles to emerge 4-2 winners in Lagos, including a brace from legend Jay-Jay Okocha.
Date, Time and Venue of the match:
- 17th of July, 2019
- Al Salaam Stadium, Cairo.