The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria (Nigeria Under 17 Male Football Team) made history on Friday November 8 2013 as they emerged as the Champions of UAE 2013 FIFA Under 17 World Cup after a 3-0 triumph over Mexico.
Golden Eaglet scored their opener when Yahaya made Mexican Aguirre to score an own goal to put Nigerian fans at the stadium into wide jubilant mood. The first goal of the final game the Nigerian more confidence to score more goals with other chances/opportunities coming their way in the first half of the match including them hiting the upright before the half time beak.
Eventually, the second goal that secured the fourth cadet trophy for Nigeria came via Kelechi Iheanacho in the second half before the team captain, Muhammed scored a superb free kick to give Nigeria a 3-0 victory over Mexico.
Nigeria won the FIFA Fair Play award of the tournament as the best behaved/disciplined team with low numbers of yellow and red cards. Kelechi Iheanacho emerged as the Silver shoe winner signifying him as the second highest goal scorer of the tournament with 6 goals behind Swedish Berisha. Iheanacho also won the tournament’s Golden ball as the best player of the tournament whil Nigerian Goalie, Dele Alampasu was awarded the tournament Golden glove as the best goal keeper of the tournament.
With this victory, Nigeria became the first country to win the FIFA Under 17 World Cup for a record fourth time after previously emerging as champions in 1985, 1993, 2007 and now 2013. The team also won the tournament in a spectacular fashion breaking Germany record for the most goals scored in a single Under 17 FIFA World Cup tournament with their 26 goals scored.
With this Nigeria goes into FIFA Under 17 World Cup history books but the question still remains whether this team can be kept together for future engagements for Under 20, Under 23 and ultimately the Super Eagles? This is indeed a Million Dollars question to be answered by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) but lets keep our fingers crossed as action pines out in the future hoping that the boys will not end up like the 2007 triumphant side of Yemi Tella. Notwithstanding, we can still savour and wallow in the victory euphorial hoping for better things ahead.
ROAD TO VICTORY
Nigeria 6-1 Mexico
Nigeria 3-3 Sweden
Nigeria 5-0 Iraq
Nigeria 4-1 Iran
Nigeria 2-0 Uruguay
Nigeria 3-0 Sweden
Nigeria 3-0 Mexico