Nigeria defeated Honduras 3-2 to win the Rio 2016 men’s Olympics football at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte on Saturday evening.
Pinto Jorge Luis’ side entered Saturday’s game hoping to restore some pride following a 6-0 semi-final drubbing against hosts Brazil. However, they were undermined as Sadiq Umar’s brace and Aminu Umar strike ensured Samson Siasia’s side took the dubious honour of finishing third, though Anthony Lozano and Marcelo Pereira almost caused a scare with their second half strikes.
The Dream Team VI started on a brilliant note but Aminu failed to put his side ahead with his effort hitting the the woodwork after connecting to a pass from impressive John Obi Mikel.
Three minutes later, the Central Americans had their first chance at goal when goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel was forced to make a fine save from Alberth Elis’ effort. Not too long, Daniel was called to order by Ellis after another defensive mishap.
Siasia’s side took the lead in the 34th minute when Umar beat goalkeeper Luis Lopez after Obi had dribbled past three defenders with Aminu doubling the lead four minutes from half time.
Nigeria took a three-goal lead when AS Roma’s Umar completed his brace in 56 minute. Even at this, that did not deter Pinto Luis’s boys as they launched a comeback.
First, it was substitute Lozano pulled one back on 71 minutes, before Pereira headed home Oscar Salas’ free-kick.
With this victory, Dream Team VI have now secured their first Olympic medal since Beijing 2008.
The win gave Nigeria a place in history as they becomes the fourth country after Hungary and Yugoslavia – whose competitive record has been pooled under Serbia since the break-up of the Balkan country in the 1990s – to win Olympic football men’s gold, silver and bronze medals, and also the first African side to achieve that feat.
The Dream Team VI got the gold medal after their 3-2 victory over Argentina in the 1996 Games staged in the United States of America.
In Beijing 2008, Nigeria had a silver medal to show for their impressive outing, while in Rio they won the bronze medal after surviving Honduras scare.
Japanese multi-millionaire, Katsuya Takasu, who promised the Dream Team VI coach Samson Siasia and the players an amount of money if they won either Gold, Silver or Bronze in the football event at Rio fulfilled his promise to the team.
He presented a $190k cheque to the team captain Mikel Obi for the players and a $200k cheque to Samson Siasia for the officials, making a total of $390k.