The Flying Eagles have failed to fly over the Amajitas of South Africa in the third place of the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday in Niger.
Both sides ended the game goalless in regulation time, but the Amajitas went on to win 5-3 on penalties.
Just as the game against Mali, the Paul Aigbogun’s side were the better side, dominating possession but were unable to translate that into goals.
Aigbogun afforded some of his fringe players such as Detan Ogundare replacing Orewale Oredale in goal while the likes of Peter Eletu, Solomon Ogberahwe and Paschal Onyekachi all started.
Nigeria went close eleven minutes into the game when the Jamil Muhammad fired a decent effort wide of target.
The duo of Onyekachi and Maxwell Effiom equally had efforts to score in the dour first period while Amajita winger, Kobamelo Kodisang equally saw a decent chance go begging.
Yahaya Nazifi came off the bench in the second period and nearly beat South African goalkeeper, Kuhbeka with a good shot which agonizingly missed to the left of goal as Nigeria searched for the break through.
After a deadlocked encounter, it boiled down to penalties where Ibrahim Alhassan’s miss proved costly as Nigeria settled for fourth place in the tournament just as all of South Africa’s kicks got into the back of the net.
Both teams had met in the group stage of the competition and played a goalless draw before advancing to the semifinals.
By so doing, they sealed their spots at the 2019 U-20 FIFA World Cup that is billed to hold in May and hosted by Poland.
The final of the CAF tournament in Niger will come to a close on Sunday, when Senegal will take on Mali in the final by 4:30p.m in Niamey.