Nigeria U-23 squad, nicknamed Dream Team, won the bronze medal of the men’s football event of the 11th All-Africa Games on Thursday after a 5-3 penalty shoot-out defeat of host Congo.
Full time and extra time at the Stade Alphonse Massamba-Debat ended 0-0 before the U-23 sides went into penalties.
Both teams lost 3-1 to their semi final opponents, with the Nigeria U-23 failing against Burkina Faso and the Congolese losing to Senegal. Senegal and Burkina Faso will contest Friday’s gold medal match.
In the penalty shoot –out, winger Daniel Etor scored Nigeria’s first kick, and Kader Bidimbou equalized for Congo. Sodiq Atanda then scored for Nigeria before Nigeria’s goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel saved from Sagese Babele.
Kingsley Sokari scored to sustain Nigeria’s lead, but Congo’s Silvere Ganvoula also scored to keep up the chase. After captain Erhun Obanor scored Nigeria’s fourth, Julsy Boukama Kaya of Congo also scored to keep alive the hosts’ hope.
However, Sharks FC of Port Harcourt forward Christian Pyagbara made sure of the bronze medal for Nigeria U-23 by scoring Nigeria’s fifth and last.
The Dream Team’s win means all the medals in the men’s football event of the 11th All-Africa Games will go to West Africa.