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Tunisia v Nigeria - as it happened

Pin Tunisia v Nigeria, African Cup of Nations, 3rd place PO, 17/7/2019 - Official line-ups. BESOCCER
Tunisia v Nigeria, African Cup of Nations, 3rd place PO, 17/7/2019 - Official line-ups. BESOCCER

Tunisia v Nigeria - as it happened

Paul Singh by Paul Singh @besoccer_com - 1 5,691

Join us for live coverage of the African Cup of Nations third place play-off between Tunisia and Nigeria from the Al Salam stadium.

FT: Tunisia 0-1 Nigeria!!! Nigeria take third place thanks to a third minute goal by Ighalo after a terrible goalkeeping error. Tunisia tried to fight back, but despite their efforts, they were weak going forward and Nigeria were very comfortable. The men in green actually looked more dangerous and could have made it two. Ekong is given man of the match in a game which was far from a classic. That's all from us, thanks for joining us and see you again soon!
Etebo boots the free-kick over the bar and it's game over!!!!
Simon is brought down just outside the box and that will be the ball game.
Ben Cherifia saves the free-kick! Kalu strikes it and the keeper dives to his left. Two dangerous chances for Kalu in just three minutes on the pitch.
Bedoui is booked for a handball just outside the D. Iwobi saw his shot blocked illegally.
Kalu goes for the goal from 30 yards and the GK tips the ball over the bar.
Five added minutes.
Nigeria sub: Chukwueze goes off and Kalu comes on.
Skhiri heads Sliti's corner and it's cleared off the line, but the ref spots a push on Osimhen in the build up. Very clear.
Chaouat wins a corner on this near side.
Omeruo is down here after he clashes with Khazri.
The goalie is down here getting treatment after clashing with Bedoui while trying to catch the ball. Nothing major though.
Amazing defence now by Ekong to precent Chaouat shooting on goal. Nigeria clear the corner with ease.
Osimhen hits a shot across the keeper which is tipped for wide.
Sliti gives the ball off to Khazri, he makes a stunning run down the far side before cutting it back as he runs out of pitch. He can't find Chaouat and between three Nigerian defenders they finally clear it.
Uzoho gets a ticking-off from the ref for timewasting.
Chaalali has a pop from just outside the area which just goes wide.
Nigeria sub: Simon of Levante comes on for Musa.
Omeruo and Chaouat come together and the latter wants a penalty. Not for me.
Khazri goes down wanting a penalty! The ref gives offside, but It's not as Chukwueze plays him on and he may be caught by the Nigeria man. The VAR is checking, but decides there is not enough contact by Musa. Khazri went down easily.
Nigeria have had control of the ball in the last 10 minutes. They have weathered the storm.
Nigeria are picking up now. The men in green definitely look more dangerous.
Tunisia sub: Hnid goes off after he is very angry seemingly after picking up a knock. Bedoui comes on.
Lovely play by Chukwueze, but Osimhen is given offside. His shot was scuffed anyway.
The corner is taken short and Chukwueze hits a superb left footed shot from 25 yards out and it's curling into the corner, but the keeper dives to his right to turn it for a corner.
Brilliant defence by Drager to slide in and dispossess Collins s he was bearing down on goal. Corner.
Chaalali is booked for a terrible challenge on Etebo. Right on his ankle. Fully deserved.
Tunisia get a corner and Khazri's ball in is batted away by Uzoho.
I have to say the standard of this game is rather poor. There have been some good games at this tournament, but this has certainly not been one of them (bar the first 15 minutes).
Tunisia sub: Sliti on for Badri.
Khazri smacks it at the wall!!! What a waste.
Free-kick for Tunisia in a very dangerous position here after Chaalali is brought down by Osimhen. 25 yards out and central.
Khazri wants a foul, but nothing given.
Osimhen is fouled by Meriah.
Nigeria have had a bit more of the ball in the last few minutes, but nothing much has happened after that early chance.
Chaouat fires wide after Khazri plays a lovely through ball to him. He should have done better.
Nigeria HT sub: Ighalo off and Osimhen on.
The second half is underway here!!! Just a 13 minute half-time! The ref is clearly in a hurry.
HT: Tunisia 0-1 Nigeria!! Half-time here in Cairo as Ighalo is still in tears in the tunnel. Nigeria started the better in the first 15 minutes and they needed just three minutes to take the lead through Ighalo. Tunisia then fought back after falling behind before the last 10 minutes were pretty much a non-event apart from the two injuries. Join us in 10 for the second period!
Ighalo has pulled a muscle here and he's in big trouble. His game is over and he's in tears.
One extra minute.
Nope, he's leaving now. Tunisia sub: Khenissi's game ends prematurely and Chaouat comes on
Khenissi has come back to give it a go. He may be trying to last till HT.
Khenissi is down injured. He's holding his head. but I think he has been caught just above the ankle. It looks like he will have to be subbed. It may be how he fell.
Nigeria are definitely finishing the half the stronger, but the game has definitely calmed down after a frenetic opening 15-20 minutes.
Chukwueze!!!! The Villarreal man sees his dangerous 25 yard strike blocked by a sliding Tunisia defender.
What a terrible free-kick again. Two shockers by Etebo.
Stupid free-kick given away by Drager after controlling the ball with his arm when no one was near him. This can go into the box.
Musa wins a corner off the GK after the pass to him from Ndidi was very overhit. The ref rules the ball had already gone out. Don't agree.
Tunisia don't deserve to be losing here, but one mistake has cost them.
Etebo sends in a free-kick for Nigeria, but it's dreadful.
The corner is cleared before Nigeria work a nice move and the cross by the Nigerian is cleared by the Tunisian into the referee! The ref was just outside the box, but the last touch by the Tunisian was inside so the Tunisia GK gets the ball.
Aina wins one on the other side. No doubts about this one.
Collins wins a corner off Drager over by the corner flag. Wrong decision.
Ndidi has a very ambitious effort from long range which goes miles over the bar.
Tunisia win a corner. Nothing comes from it though.
Sassi gets his head to it at the far post, but he can't direct it goalwards as Omeruo gets in the way.
Khazri once again strikes the wall. It goes for a corner this time. Ndidi jumped up brilliantly to head it away.
Ndidi is carded after bringinjg down Badri to stop a very promising attack.
Tunisia, who have been the better team since the goal, make another dangerous move into the Nigeria box after super work by Badri, but the flag goes up. It wasn't.
It's been really open so far.
Sassi fires wide for Tunisia after good build up play between Haddadi and Khazri.
Off the line by Tunisia after Musa feeds in Ighalo and the ex-Granada man shoots at goal.
Chukwueze sends in a free-kick which beats everyone and ends up going to the keeper.
Nigeria have started very well here.
Khenissi! He sees his shot deflected by Omeruo and it's a corner.
Ighalo is caught offside from a very long pass.
Aina now plays for Torino, but he used to be at Chelsea. He didn't play very often in West London though.
Khazri's free kick deflects off the wall and Aina starts a dangerous counter which ends when Iwobi's flick on is misdirected.
Khazri is fouled just outside the box.
Nigeria score! Ighalo!!! Collins runs down this near side and puts a hopeful cross in, but the GK and Meriah make an absolute hash of it and Ighalo can't believe his luck inside the six yard box. It's the keeer's fauly as he should have held onto it. He only tipped it onto his defender.
Aina makes a move down the far side, but Iwobi slips at the crucial moment and the chance has gone.
Aina is actually playing instead of Awaziem for Nigeria! Apologies.
Nigeria get us underway in the green from right to left!
The anthems have been played and we are about to start. Enjoy!
The teams make their way out onto the pitch!
The referee for this game is Ghead Grisha of Egypt and Pol Van Boekel of Holland is the main VAR. Grisha was at last year's World Cup and took charge of England's 6-1 thrashing of Panama.
As is the norm, it's a very hot night in Cairo. 33 degrees is the temperature. It was 41 earlier!
Nigeria make just the one switch which is their goalkeeper. Uzoho makes his first appearance of the tournament and Akpeyi drops to the bench. Akpeyi had played all the games so far except the final group game. Ezenwa was their keeper for that one.
Tunisia make four changes to the team that lost to Senegal. Ben Cherifia replaces Hassen in goal, Hnid is in for Bronn in defence, Chaalali starts instead of Ben Mohamed and Badri takes Msakni's place.
Both teams are here after losing their semi-finals. Tunisia lost to Senegal 1-0 after extra time because of an unfortunate own goal while Nigeria were knocked out 2-1 by Algeria. A Mahrez free-kick with the last kick of the 90 minutes prevented extra-time.
The rules are slightly different for tonight's match. If the game is level after 90 minutes, we will go straight to penalties. There will be no extra time. A smart move in my view.
Nigeria XI: Uzoho (GK); Collins, Omeruo, Troost-Ekong, Awaziem; Musa, Etebo, Iwobi, Ndidi, Chukwueze; Ighalo.
Tunisia XI: Ben Cherifia (GK); Haddadi, Meriah, Hnid, Drager; Sassi, Skhiri, Chaalali; Khazri, Khenissi and Badri.
First thing's first, the team news. So let's get straight into them.
Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of the African Cup of Nations third place play-off between Tunisia and Nigeria from the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo. It's the game no one wants to play in, but both teams will want to finish on high (or let's hope so anyway).
Paul Singh

Paul Singh

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