Former African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez netted a late-minute free-kick to send his country into the final – their first after 29 years – on Sunday at the Cairo International Stadium.
Ighalo had brought Nigeria back on level terms from the penalty spot after William Troost-Ekong had given Algeria the lead through an own goal in the first half.
“It was a difficult game. We were unlucky at the last minuet because second half we really played well and we deserved more than what we got today (Sunday). But this is football. We have to learn from our mistake and we look forward to the third-placed game,” Ighalo, who is currently the tournament’s highest scorer, told cafonline.
He added, “I want to tell them (Nigerians) we are sorry. We gave our best but it was not enough.”
Nigeria take on Tunisia, who last to Senegal in the first semi-finals, in the third-placed playoff on Wednesday.