Posted by Nelson Dafe | 6 November 2015 | 3,851 times
In a very thrilling and goal-laden contest, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets this morning overpowered Mexico 4-2 to qualify for the final of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup holding in Chile.
Mexico stunned Nigeria by taking an 8th minute lead through a low drive from Mangana with the Eaglets defence going missing.
The North Americans continued to dominate play by spreading the ball around beautifully after the opener. However, the lethal quality of the Eaglets came to the fore when Skipper Kelechi Nwakali dragged Nigeria back into the game with a terrific free kick in the 33rd minute.
Ten minutes later, the Eaglets took the lead for the diary time in the game. Orji Okonkwo’s stunner of a strike from 25 yards was a beauty to behold.
As the match ebbed and flowed in the second half, Diego Coartes equalised for Mexico with a goal that is a sure candidate for the best ever goal at the Cadet World Cup. He dribbled past five Nigeria players enroute a calm finish. The 59th minute goal was greeted by a deafening cheer in Concepción, venue of the match.
However, Nigeria restored their lead shortly after in the 67th minute when a well-placed through pass by Nwakali was met by Osinachi Ebere at the edge of the Mexican six-yard box. The latter’s shot squirmed past Mexico’s goalkeeper, who should have done better.
Mexico tired out later and Nigeria’s superior physical quality ensured there would be no more Mexican comeback. In the 82nd minute, the game was over as a contest when tournament’s leading scorer Victor Osimhen got his record-equaling nineth goal via a penalty after a clumsy push by a Mexican defender.
Defending champions Nigeria will face Mali in the final on Sunday in what would be an all-African affair. Mali are the current defending champions of the African Under-17 Nations Cup which they won earlier in the year in Niger.
The Golden Eaglets came fourth in that tournament but have largely improved since then and will fancy their chances of winning a fifth Under-17 World Cup after the 2013 triumph in the UAE.
•Photo shows the Golden Eaglets celebrating one of their goals against Mexico . . . last night in the semi-finals of the Chile 2015 Under-17 World Cup.
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