Nigeria holds off fierce Honduras rally, wins Olympic bronze

Honduras' Antony Lozano (white jersey) and Usman Muhammed of Nigeria compete for the ball during the Men's Olympic Football Tournament bronze-medal match on August 20, 2016, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)


BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil -- Nigeria nearly let a three-goal lead slip away, but held on to beat Honduras, 3-2, in the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament bronze-medal game on Saturday at the Estadio Mineirao.

It marked the third time that the Nigerians have medaled in the last six Olympics, while Honduras earned its best-ever finish in four tournament appearances. 

Nigeria took a lead in the 34th minute, when Jon Obi Mikel dribbled into the right side of the box and found an unmarked Sadiq Umar, who netted from close range at the left post.

The lead was doubled in the 49th minute as Aminu Umar knocked in a rebound off an initial shot from outside the box by Mikel that was saved by diving goalkeeper Luis Lopez.

Seven minutes later, Nigeria’s was extended to 3-0 with Sadiq Umar completing his brace, firing home from 14-yards out off a Mikel assist.

The Hondurans launched an immediate comeback bid and pulled one back in the 71st minute. Romell Quioto whipped in a cross from the left for former Olimpia teammate Antony Lozano to head home from seven yards.

With four minutes remaining in normal time, Marcelo Pereira jumped high to head Oscar Salas’ right-side free kick into the back of the net to make it a one-goal game. 

The rally ended there and Nigeria captured its first Olympic medal since Beijing 2008.