Nigeria won their first medal of the 2016 Olympics as they beat Honduras 3-2 in the bronze-medal match, with Sadiq Umar scoring twice and Aminu Umar scoring once.
Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi, who captained the Nigeria side, said: “I am so proud of this team, the boys worked so hard.
“It is very important, because football in Nigeria is absolutely massive. We had extra pressure perhaps, but we have done it for us, for our family, for Nigeria.”
Nigeria held a 3-0 lead before Honduras, who qualified from the group phase at Argentina’s expense, scored twice through Antony Lozano and Marcelo Parera to set up a tense conclusion.
Meanwhile, A Japanese surgeon, billionaire Katsuya Takasu gave the Nigeria Olympic football team, Dream Team VI, cash rewards for winning a #bronze medal for Nigeria having defeated Honduras 3-2.
The plastic surgeon made a pledge, totaling $390,000.
Earlier on Saturday, a former Super Eagles goalkeeper and football analyst, Peterside Idah, had raised the alarm that Nigeria Football Federation officials had hijacked the donation made by the Japanese doctor.
The NFF denied the allegation.
Mr.Idah later confirmed that Mr. Takasu had made the donation directly to the beneficiaries at their hotel.
“All is well,” Mr Idah tweeted. “Two cheques have just been handed over to the team. One in Samson Siasia’s name, and the other made out to the name of Mikel.”
In an earlier interview, Mr. Takasu said he made the donation to the players after hearing about their financial crisis.
“I read about the financial problems affecting the team and I felt the need to make a big contribution,” Mr. Takasu told the BBC earlier this week.
The Nigeria U-23 have hugged the headlines on and off the pitch as they braved all odds to make a podium finish at the Olympics.
Continually referred to as ‘miracle workers’ by their coach, the Dream Team VI surprised many with their performance in the face of daunting challenges which included arriving barely hours to their first match in Rio.
The 3-2 win over Honduras on Saturday ensured that Nigeria won its first medal since after the Beijing 2008 Olympics.