Third place match preview: Tunisia vs Nigeria

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Tunisia and Nigeria will meet in the third-place playoff in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Both sides were defeated in dramatic circumstances in the semi-finals, with Tunisia losing out in extra-time to Senegal and the Super Eagles beaten by a 95th-minute winner from Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez.

Both coaches are expected to nake changes and opt to give some experience to younger members of the squad. Tunisia could give the first minutes of the competition to teenage midfielder Marc Lamti, who is on the books of Bayer Leverkusen.

Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has reportedly made up his mind about the goalkeeper that will start their Africa Cup of Nations third-place playoff against Tunisia today.

According to the team’s ex-media officer, Colin Udoh, the German will bring Francis Uzoho back into his starting XI.

“Gernot Rohr confirmed today that the other two players who have not played at this tournament will feature, even if they don’t start.

“That means we will see @Uzohof and @victorosimhen9 in action tomorrow,” Udoh tweeted.

Uzoho has dropped down to third place in the pecking order, despite manning the posts for Nigeria at the World Cup just one year ago.

With the Eagles already qualified for the Round of 16 after two group fixtures, Rohr opted to start Ikechukwu Ezenwa in the 2-0 defeat to Madagascar.

Rohr had hinted in his Tuesday’s press conference, that Uzoho might feature against the Carthage Eagles.

The 66-year-old also confirmed captain John Mikel Obi has suffered a fresh injury setback and is ruled out of the clash.

Tunisia are unbeaten in 90 minutes so far during the tournament, having secured five draws and a win in normal time before exiting the competition against Senegal.

They may have lacked a bit of flair at times but the north Africans have been extremely well organised and could well prove frustrating opponents for Nigeria once more.
Nigeria, meanwhile, lacked creativity against Algeria and their only goal came from the penalty spot. Defensively, too, Ruhr’s men have failed to convince, having conceded in their last four matches.

Tunisia may have had to play a sapping extra 30 minutes in their semi-final but if they can find the energy for one last push, there could well be some value in backing them to make life tough for the three-time African champions. Nigeria has won 5 games, drawn: 6
and lost: 6 in all meetings with the Carthage Eagles

Date                Match      Result Score  Competition
25 Nov 1961 Nigeria v Tunisia W 2-1 Africa Cup of Nations
10 Dec 1961 Tunisia v Nigeria D 2-2 Africa Cup of Nations
25 Sep 1977 Tunisia v Nigeria D 0-0 FIFA World Cup
12 Nov 1977 Nigeria v Tunisia L 0-1 FIFA World Cup
16 Mar 1978 Tunisia v Nigeria D 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations
29 Jun 1980 Tunisia v Nigeria L 2-0 FIFA World Cup
12 Jul 1980 Nigeria v Tunisia W 2-0 FIFA World Cup
26 Sep 1984 Tunisia v Nigeria L 5-0 International Friendly
06 Jul 1985 Nigeria v Tunisia W 1-0 FIFA World Cup
20 Jul 1985 Tunisia v Nigeria L 2-0 FIFA World Cup
22 Feb 1992 Tunisia v Nigeria D 1-1 International Friendly
09 Aug 1997 Tunisia v Nigeria L 2-0 LG Cup
23 Jan 2000 Nigeria v Tunisia W 4-2 Africa Cup of Nations
11 Feb 2004 Tunisia v Nigeria L 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations
04 Feb 2006 Nigeria v Tunisia W 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations
20 Jun 2009 Tunisia v Nigeria D 0-0 FIFA World Cup
06 Sep 2009 Nigeria v Tunisia D 2-2 FIFA World Cup