By Adebayo Williams
Nigeria’s U-23 team defeated Honduras in their third place match on Saturday win the bronze medal of the men’s football event at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The Samson Siasia-led team took the lead in the 34th minute, Umar Sadiq the scorer. In the second half, the team increased their lead through Aminu Umar’s 49th minute strike. The team, who were beaten by Germany in the semifinal, showed some flashes of brilliance and maintained their cool to bag a third goal in the 56th minute, Aminu Umar, again, the scorer.
The Honduras team started a late rally to get themselves back in the game taking the game to the Nigerians. They got their reward in the 71st minute through Anthony Lozano. The South Americans were not giving up as they took advantage of space in the defence to score a second in the Marcelo Pereira in the 87th minute.
Samson Siasia’s boy hung on to their lead to win the medal. The medal is Nigeria’s first at the ongoing Games. The team had scaled several hurdles to reach the medal stages of the competition after some inappropriate arrangements had threatened their participation in the Games. They landed in Manaus, venue of their group games, on the day they played Japan. They went on to shake off the stress of air travel to win by 4-3.