BENGUELA, Angola (AFP) - Nigeria pipped Algeria 1-0 to claim the third place honours at the Africa Cup of Nations here on Saturday.
Obinna Nsofor scored the match winner in the 55th minute when he sprinted through a crowded Algerian defence before slotting past diving goalkeeper Lamine Zemmamouche.
This was the Super Eagles' seventh third-place finish at the Nations Cup as they also took bronze in 1976, 78, '92, 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Nigeria coach Shuaibu Amodu said he was at least satisfied his team finished in third even though their target was to win the championship.
"The match was above average especially in the first half and we started with a little bit of fear. Any team that scored first would have won the game.
"However, we had to psyche ourselves because we needed to win the third place," he said.
"We have done well enough even though we may not have played to our full potential, but with longer preparations we can do a lot better. We improved with each game, we were not at our best in Angola but we can be better before the World Cup."
Amodu also dismissed speculation that he could be fired before the World Cup in June.
"I have never been bothered about speculation about my future because they are just speculation. My employers are satisfied with my work," he said.
Algeria skipper Yazid Mansouri admitted his team were tired but at the same time disappointed they finished the tournament empty handed.
"We were tired, but we did not do as well as we would have wanted to. We will move ahead and learn form the mistakes we made at this tournament," Mansouri said.
"We have to work very hard to get ready for the World Cup especially in the midfield and attack. The Nations Cup has afforded us a chance to know where we have to improve."
Nigeria made several changes from the team that lost 1-0 to Ghana in the semi-finals with Portsmouth forward Nwankwo Kanu, Nsofor and Seyi Olofinjana among the players who started their first game of the tournament.
Algeria were missing three players suspended from their semi-final loss to Egypt.
Nigeria would have gone ahead after 10 minutes but Nsofor's shot from inside the box was deflected by Algerian defender Slimane Raho for a corner.
Kanu also fired at the Algerian goal after 31 minutes but goalkeeper Zemmamouche held it first-time.
Algeria's best chance at goal in the first half came two minutes from the interval, when Lazio midfielder Mourad Meghni hooked his shot over the bar from almost the top of the 18-yard box.
Just before the break, Nigeria again came close to going in front but Kalu Uche's pass inside the area after a clever ball from Kanu rolled away from goal after Nsofor lost his footing at the crucial moment.
In the 50th minute, Algeria goalkeeper Zemmamouche failed to hold on to a powerful Taye Taiwo freekick from distance, the lively Nsofor got to the rebound only for his effort from eight yards out to crash against the crossbar.
Hassan Yebda was on target in the 72nd minute but Victor Enyeama in the Nigerian goal gathered the low shot as the Algerians now played with more urgency following Nsofor's opener.
Nigeria then held on to their slender advantage to take some consolation out of Angola 2010 ahead of the World Cup.
|Coach: S. Amodu|
for K. Uche 65'
for N. Kanu 78'
for C. Obasi 81'
|Baldini appointed as Tottenham technical director|
|FA Cup final given end-of-season billing|
|Coyle´s Wigan tenure begins at Barnsley|
|Celtic to start with Ross County test|
|Pique advises Thiago to stay at Barcelona|
|Llambias resigns but Pardew vows to stay on|
|Lampard targets third World Cup|
|Zorc: De Bruyne is interested in Dortmund move|
|FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: United States stay in charge|
|Neill, Schwarzer in the shop window|
|Osieck vindicated by super-sub Kennedy|
|Puyol set for further surgery|
|Ribery, Benzema trial adjourned|
|Bielsa, Santos talks fall through|
|Vilanova rues easy title run-in|
|Del Bosque defends Casillas´ inclusion|
|Lens leaves PSV for Dynamo Kiev|
|FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Spain v Tahiti|
|FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: Australia, Iran, South Korea qualify|
|Carroll passes West Ham medical|
|Maher agent denies Ajax deal|
|Newcastle confirm Kinnear appointment|
|Taylor ´really happy´ with Kinnear return|
|Australia 1-0 Iraq: Kennedy books Brazil place|
|Clarke happy with Reid commitment|
|Bittencourt signs for Hannover|
|Van Dijk keen on Celtic move|
|De Gea sets the bar high|
|Confederations Cup Preview: Nigeria v Uruguay|
|Bacuna keen to get going at Villa|
|Hamburg a possibility for Santa Cruz|
|Rebelo: Protests will not harm Confederations Cup|
|Kinnear: We need another striker|
|Brazil-Mexico Preview: Selecao gunning for semi-final berth|
|Valcke: Brazil better for football tournaments|
|Tahiti trump Nigeria in celebration stakes|
|FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Italy v Japan|
|FIFA Confederations Cup: Nigeria 6 Tahiti 1|
|Borini´s Napoli move unlikely|
|Remon: Zidane not ready for Real job|
|Elyounoussi says yes to Hoffenheim|
|Mignolet agent anticipating bids|
|Schalke signs Clemens|
|Italy-Japan Preview: Azzurri aiming to move closer to last four with victory|
|Sidwell looking for settled squad at Fulham|
|Hearts set to enter administration|
|Martinez hoping to bring ´characters´ to Everton|
|Scholes sad to see Robinson leave Stoke|
|Bayern, Barca in hunt for Koscielny|
|Toulouse deny Lyon approach for Tabanou|
|Vitoria pleased with ´dream´ Benfica move|
|Poyet refuses to attend hearing|
|UEFA Under 21 Championship Final Preview: Italy v Spain|
|Van Dijk attracting foreign interest|
|FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Brazil v Mexico|
|Brentford confirm signing of Bidwell from Everton|
|Lambert says Lowton can still improve|
|Owen not ready to become a manager|
|Rangel praises Michu impact|
|Gundogan pledges future to Dortmund|
|Tevez refuses to be drawn on speculation|
|Mourinho: Chelsea need stability|
|Reid remains at West Brom after agreeing new deal|
|Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria: Oduamadi hits hat-trick as Super Eagles smash South Pacific islanders|
|Dortmund confirm Lewandowski stay|
|Hull sign Figueroa|
|Colombia Primera Division Wrap: Santa Fe held as Pasto, Millonarios win|
|Liverpool appoint new chief financial officer|
|Isco reveals offers from Real and City|
|Bradford to start Capital One Cup campaign at Huddersfield|
|Kinnear: Cabaye will stay at Newcastle|
|Peru Primera Division Wrap: Cesar Vallejo up to fourth|
|Paraguay Division Profesional Wrap: Nacional Asuncion beaten after securing title|
|Argentina Primera Division Wrap: Blanco brace fires Lanus|
|Ecuador Primera A Wrap: Independiente held despite Guerrero stunner|
|Del Bosque satisfied with Spain´s Cup opener|
|FIFA Confederations Cup: Spain 2 Uruguay 1|
|Prandelli undeterred by plucky Mexico|
|FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: Ethopia, Egypt top groups|