The Nigerians had the last laugh on penalties after the encounter ended barren in regulation time.
It was the third time the West Africans have won bronze at the multisport quadrennial event after the 1991 (Cairo, Egypt) and 1995 (Harare, Zimbabwe) editions.
The Congolese have themselves to blame for failing to convert the numerous chances that came their way in a game they had a slight edge over the Nigerians.
Midway into the first half, Mavis Tchibota-Dufounou saw his goal bound shot miss narrowly before Mustapha Abdullahi fumbled with Nigeria’s best chance on 31 minutes, with only Congo goalie Chrtistoffer Mafoumbi to beat, he unselfishly squared Junior Ajayi, who shot wide.
The host had the better of the second half and substitute Silvere Ganvoula’s header from a free-kick on 75 minutes missed target narrowly.
Both teams failed to find the back of the net forcing the game into penalties, which saw Daniel Esien, Atanda Ololade, Kingsley Sokari, Erhun Obanor and Pyagbara convert for the Nigerians against Kader Bidimbou, Ganvoula and Julsy Boukama Kaya for the host nation.
Congo’s best remains winning gold at the maiden edition on home soil in 1965.