The Super Eagles have returned from Egypt back to Nigeria after finishing third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The players and officials were welcomed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari.
Big Thank you to our wonderful @NGRPresident His Excellency @MBuhari who was represented by the SGF and other top dignitaries for giving us a rousing welcome from Egypt. #SoarSuperEagles #Team9jaStrong pic.twitter.com/BBSEdLj0qq
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) July 19, 2019
Ahmed Musa who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the Federal Government for its support to the team, but said it was unfortunate they missed out on the ultimate target which was to win a fourth AFCON title.
“We are grateful for all the support but we are sorry we could not come back with the title; that is football for you but we tried our best,” Musa remarked as Gernot Rohr and his men were received by a host of top dignitaries in the country’s capital city, Abuja.
The Super Eagles agonisingly missed out on a final spot at AFCON 2019 after they were beaten 2-1 by Algeria in their semi-final match.
Riyad Mahrez, with a late free kick, broke the hearts of many Nigerians who were hoping to see the Eagles play in Friday’s final in Cairo.
However, having failed to make it to the final, the Super Eagles ensured they did not return empty-handed as they won their third-place match against Tunisia on Wednesday night.
Odion Ighalo who is looking set to be crowned the highest-goal scorer at the 2019 AFCON scored the only goal that saw the Super Eagles beat the Carthage Eagles 1-0.
This is the 8th time Nigeria will win an AFCON bronze medal, a feat no other country has ever matched.
With the 2019 AFCON over, attention has now shifted to the 2021 qualifiers where Nigeria is in Group L alongside Benin, Lesotho and Sierra Leone.