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Nigeria’s U-17s record fourth World Cup glory

Last update - Sunday, December 1, 2013, 15:14 By Metro Éireann

Nigeria’s under-17s are the toast of the globe after putting three past Mexico youth side on Friday 8 November to win the 15th edition of the Fifa U-17 World Cup.  

The stage was set for an unforgettable final in the 2013 edition of the tournament at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu-Dhabi.
It also marked a rematch following Nigeria’s 6-1 win over Mexico in the first round, with ‘El Tri’ relishing the opportunity to avenge that loss and defend their title.
But it was Nigeria who were quickest off the mark, as an early own-goal by Erick Aguirre saw the Mexicans fall behind in the ninth minute of the first half. Musa Yahaya nearly doubled the lead in the 39th minute but his shot hit the crossbar.
Mexico threatened the Nigerian defence a couple of times in the first 45, but their efforts were stopped by in-form goalkeeper Alampasu.
Pressing high up the pitch and attacking with real purpose, the Mexicans put pressure on the Golden Eaglets in the early minutes of the second half, but it was the Nigerians who capitalised.
In the 56th minute, Kelechi Iheanacho – who was voted most valuable player of the tournament – scored his sixth goal of the World Cup when Gudino parried a long-range shot in his path, allowing for an easy tap in by Nigeria’s number 10.
Mexico U-17 coach Raul Gutierrez made a number of changes midway through the second half but that didn’t restore any hope of El Tri gaining from the match.
Nigeria began to dominate every department of the game, and in the 81st minute captain Musa Muhammed sealed the result with a superb free kick from the edge of the area.
With the win, Nigeria became the most successful team in the history of the Fifa U-17 World Cup tournament with four titles to their name, while players like Iheanacho will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Arsenal legend and Nigerian U-17s champion Nwankwo Kanu, who attended the final.
Elsewhere in the final World Cup action, Sweden took the bronze medal after their 4-1 win against a poor performing Argentinean team.

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