By Raphael Ekpang
The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria today ruled the world again after beating Mexico 3-0 to win the 15th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, tagged ‘UAE 2013’played on Friday evening in Abu Dhabi.
The victory has made Nigeria the highest trophy record holders of the U-17 FIFA world cup. Nigeria and Brazil were tied on the same position of winning the trophy three times respectively before going into this competition, but the great King Pele boys could not muscle past the quarter final stage .The resilient Nigerians who went through the competition without losing a match, now set an all-time record of the trophy holders for the fourth time .
A first half own goal by Erick Aguirre and a mid-second half strikes from Kelechi Iheanacho and Musa Muhammed were all the highly-talented Nigerians needed to seal a fourth title on Asian soil.
The Mexicans dominated the early seconds of the tension-soaked encounter but were unable to deliver goals as the solid Nigeria defence was well equal to the task. The Eaglets’ several attempts starting with Samuel Okon in the fourth minute were properly kept in check by the Mexican goalie.
Nigeria goal-keeper, Dele Alampasu tasted the deep waters in the early minutes of the first half where Ivan Ochoa forced him to a brilliant save after his header was punched for a corner. Mexico’s dominance was short-lived after Erick Aguirre’s own goal put the Garba Manu tutored lads ahead in an attempt to clear away Taiwo Awoniyi’s well laid pass meant for Musa Yahaya.
Nigeria now holds the record of the most goals scored in a single – World Cup tournament with 26 goals eclipsing the record set by Germany in Mexico 2011.
Newsdiaryonline recalls that Nigeria won the previous editions of the competition in 1985, with Nduka Ogbade in the squad, 1993 with Kanu Nwankwon, 2007 with Macaulay Chrisantus and today’s edition with Ikelechi Iheanacho in the squad.