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Monday, November 09, 2015

FIFA Under 17: Nigerian team rules the world for 5th time

 ITRealms:

The Nigerian Under 17 team early Monday morning dismissed their West African counterparts, Mali 2- 0, to claim the FFIA U-17 World Cup for the 5th time, ITRealms reports.

The concluding day of the Chile 2015 saw Nigeria live up to their tag of pre-tournament favourites by overcoming a spirited Malian side, thereby retaining the crown they secured so impressively two years ago in the United Arab Emirates.

According to report by FIFA, the centerpiece match played out in the way many observers had predicted, partly because of the level of familiarity between the two teams, who both played starring roles at the 2015 CAF African U-17 Championship, where the Nigerians finished fourth and the Malians emerged victorious.

In Vina del Mar on Sunday, however, the Golden Eaglets’ attacking prowess eventually paid off, as two goals in three second-half minutes sealed the destination of the trophy.

In doing so, ITRealms gathered, the Nigerians claimed the fifth U-17 World Cup crown, following on from their previous successes at China 1985, Japan 1993, Korea Republic 2007 and UAE 2013. In addition, they finished as runners-up at Canada 1987, Trinidad and Tobago 2001 and Nigeria 2009.

Belgium, meanwhile, earned a place on the podium by defeating Mexico 3-2 in an entertaining preamble to the main event. Sprightly forward Dante Vanzeir was the man who propelled Les Diables Rouges to a best-ever finish at a FIFA tournament, setting up the opener and scoring their second and third goals. That decisive third strike, ITRealms reports, came in stoppage time, when Belgium were down to ten men and the match appeared on the verge of a penalty shoot-out.

Meanwhile, Top scorer Victor Osimhen and captain Kelechi Nwakali both made their mark on the competition, and after winning the adidas Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, the latter followed in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos, who are now key members of the senior sides with their respective national teams. Osimhen set a new U-17 World Cup goal-scoring record, while Mali’s Samuel Diarra and Ecuador’s example of Fair Play were also recognised in the honour’s list established and overseen by FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG).

Cyriacus Nnaji/GEE

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