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FIFA U17 WORLD CUP 2015 - CHILE (FINAL)

 FIFA U17 WORLDCUP 2015 - CHILE NIGERIA TO FACE MALI IN THE FINAL ON 8TH NOV 2015

06.11.2015 : ADHIRAJ DUTTA : In what was a thrilling encounter between 22 potential future stars, defending champions Nigeria came from behind to defeat Mexico 4-2 to book their place in the final of the 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile. Nigeria won the last edition 2013 beat Mexico in the final by 3-0 Margin while for the first time in the history of u17 MALI will play in the Final.

7 time finalist Nigeria
Winner 4 (1985, 1993, 2007, 2013)
runners 3 (1987, 2001, 2009)

Africa is the most successful continental zone with 6 tournament wins (4 for Nigeria, 2 for Ghana) and 5 times as runner up. Notably the 1993 final was contested by two African teams, the only occasion when the final has been contested by two teams from the same confederation .

It was a topsy-turvy affair right from the start- Mexico took the lead early through Kevin Mangana before quick strikes from Kelechi Nwakali and Orji Okwonkwo put the junior Super Eagles ahead. Mexico again leveled the score 2-2 thanks to a fantastic solo run by Diego Cortes. Nigeria were quick to react as Osinachi Ebere regained the lead just after 8 minutes and then a late penalty goal from Victor Osimhen sealed the deal for the African nation, who with 4 cups, surprisingly has the most number of world championships at this age level.

HOW NIGERIA ENTER
05/11/2015 : MEXICO   2-4  NIGERIA    - SF	 
01/11/2015 : BRAZIL   0-3  NIGERIA   - QRF 
28/10/2015 : Nigeria  6-0  Australia - R16
01/10/2015 : Nigeria  20  USA      
20/10/2015 : Chile    15  Nigeria 
23/10/2015 : Croatia  21  Nigeria  

The other semi final between Mali and Belgium saw the match follow a similar storyline. The boys from Belgium, whose senior side made headlines yesterday after being ranked 1st in the FIFA World Rankings, were the clear favourites in this fixture. They expectedly took the lead when forward Dante Rigo scored in a one-on-one situation. But what followed shocked everyone else. Mali quickly restored parity through Boubacar Traore.

It was end-to-end stuff after that goal with both sides looking menacing with their attacks. However it was Mali who executed one of their chances when Sidiki Maiga put the Malians in front. Belgium tried for an equalizer but all hopes were lost when Mali doubled their lead in the 85th minute through Sekou Koita, thus setting up an exciting final clash against Nigeria in Vina Del Mar on Sunday.

This will be only be the second all-African encounter in the U17 FIFA World Cup. The first one took place 22 years ago in the 1993 edition hosted by Japan, when Nigeria and Ghana squared off against each other. Nigeria had won the tie 2-1.

FIFA U17 WORLD CUP 2015 - CHILE (FINAL)

09.11.2015: NIGERIA BEAT MALI 2-0 TO WIN THE FIFA U17 WORLD CUP 2015

08.11.2015 : NIGERIA 20 MALI
NIG : OSIMHEN 56', BAMGBOYE 59'

Nigeria became only the second side to retain the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 2-0 win against Mali in Vina Del Mar. Victor Osimhen stole the show once again thanks to his record-breaking tenth goal of the tournament, with Funsho Bamgboye adding a second moments later. Samuel Diarra had saved an early Osinachi Ebere penalty as the Malians played their part in an entertaining finale to Chile 2015.

The penalty came as both sides were just finding their rhythm in the opening exchanges, Chato the culprit with a handball. Ebere saw his low effort saved brilliantly by Diarra, the No17's follow up header hit the bar before a third bite of the cherry was blocked by the Malian defence.

Both sides had chances in a tense opening period, with Golden Eaglets skipper Kelechi Nwakali hitting just wide and Boubacar Traore seeing his glancing header tipped over by Akpan Udoh.

The second half saw the game burst into life, with Emmanuel Amuneke's words clearly working their magic on the Nigerian youngsters. Osimhen shrugged off the challenge of Mamadou Fofana before hitting a wonderful dipping half volley towards goal, which Diarra spectacularly saved. Udochukwu Anumudu then smashed a thunderous effort at goal, which rebounded back off the crossbar and was cleared away.

Mali did not heed those warnings. Good approach play by substitute Chinedu Madueke saw him tee up Osimhen for his record-breaking goal, seeing him surpass the nine goals scored by Florent Sinama Pongolle in 2001 and Souleymane Coulibaly ten years later.

The holders doubled their advantage mere minutes later, with Bamgboye bursting down the Nigerian left before smashing a powerful effort at goal, Diarra standing little chance.

Despite a couple of late chances for Mali, from corner kicks, Nigeria retained possession for large spells and saw the game out to retain their crown. The jubilant scenes on the final whistle in Vina Del Mar will surely live long in the memories of these Nigerian heroes of the present, some of whom may just become the stars of the future.
COURTESY : www.fifa.com

FIFA U17 WORLD CUP 2015 - CHILE (FINAL)