U-17 World Cup: Nigeria Beat Iraq 5-0, Qualify for Round of 16

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets put the final nail on the coffin of Iraq, defeating the Asians 5-nil in what was seen by many as a one sided affair at the FIFA U-17 world cup.

The Golden Eaglets started like a house on fire with 4 first half goals, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and Musa Yayaha all got on the scorer sheet.

The Manu Garba led boys started from where they left off in the first half as substitute Chigozie Obasi’s goal in the 90th minute made it 5 for Nigeria.

Elsewhere in group F, Mexico defeated Sweden 1-0. With this results Nigeria top the group with 7 points, followed by Mexico with  6 points, while the Sweedes have 4 and Iraq finished with no point.

Nigeria has now qualified for the round of 16 and will be facing the second placed team in group E.

Nigeria has not lost a group-stage game at any U-17 World Cup since way back in 1993.


President Jonathan Congratulates Golden Eaglets

Meanwhile President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria on their 5-0 defeat of Iraq in the on-going FIFA Under-17 world cup in the United Arab Emirates.

President Jonathan urged them to maintain the exemplary dedication, commitment and resilience they have exhibited thus far in the competition until ultimate victory is achieved.

He assures them of the support of the Federal Government as they continue in the competition.

Golden Eaglets: We Don’t Need To Brag, We Just Want To Win – Amunike

The Golden Eaglets Assistant Coach, Emmanuel Amunike has warned that in football, it is not good to brag as the most important thing to focus on is how to win, even if it is by half a goal.

He said this on ‘Sports This Morning’ during the preview of the Golden Eaglets second group game against Sweden. He sounded a warning that the 6-1 score line of the team’s first game versus defending champion, Mexico does not mean Sweden will be easy.

While reacting to a question on how many goals Nigerians should expect in the game against Sweden, the former Super Eagles attacker who was speaking via the phone from UAE said:

“Sometimes you don’t expect to score a lot of goals, bearing it in mind that also these teams, what made them to be in this tournament, that means they’re good. The likes of Spain, France, they didn’t make it, and then Sweden, Croatia are here”.

He further said each game brings different challenges and plan, but the objective of the team is to win the game and consolidate their qualification for the next stage. He assured that the boys are in good mood, and even though everyone is expecting a very tough challenge, he expects victory.

The Media Officer of the team, Morakinyo Abodunrin, also speaking from UAE had earlier expressed optimism that the boys and the coaching crew are all in good spirit for the game but also warned that winning the tournament requires having to play 7 games, so it is too early to start celebrating just one victory even if it was 6-1 against the defending champions.

Sweden won their first game 4-1 against Iraq. Victory for either of the teams will make them top the group and guarantee qualification into the Round of 16.

Analysts Celebrate Kano Pillars, Back Eaglet’s Ihenacho To Shine

On Sports This Morning, analysts have thrown their weight behind the Nigerian Under-17 national team, Golden Eaglets to make great impact at the on-going FIFA U-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates, after their demolition of defending champions, Mexico by a 6-1 scoreline in their opening game played on Saturday.

They have also identified the Eaglets’ 4 goal hero, Kelechi Ihenacho as a star for the future. They called on the Nigerian football administrators to nurture the team so that the boys can grow together rather than focusing on winning the competition.

Reviewing the just concluded Glo Premier League which produced Kano Pillars as champion, they commended the team for their feat of joining Enyimba FC of Aba as the only teams to have won the Nigerian Football League back-to-back.


Nigeria Thump Holders Mexico 6-1 In U-17 World Cup Opener

Three-time champions Nigeria opened their 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign on Saturday with a 6-1 thumping of twice champions and title-holders Mexico in Al Ain City.

In the opening Group F match at the competition holding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Golden Eaglets overcame a nervous start to go top of the group. Nigeria now lead the group with three points and a +5 goal difference from one match, ahead of Sweden and Iraq.

The Mexicans were unable to take advantage of their opponents’ trepidation, as striker Ulises Jaimes had a chance to score with his head after only three minutes.

But the Nigerian defence deflected the ball wide off danger to get a respite until after about 30 minutes when the Eaglets settled into their rhythm.

After 33 minutes, the Eaglets followed on a counter-attack for Success Isaac to race in and round the goalkeeper, before pulling the ball back across goal. Kelechi Iheanacho followed the play with a clever finish, hitting the ball high into the net over a pair of Mexican defenders.

Seven minutes later, the Eaglets scored again, after Isaac crossed from the left following a fast-break. Iheanacho kept his cool to cut inside, showing great patience to drift past two defenders and slam into the side netting.

But the Eaglets’ enthusiasm got the better of them as they conceded a goal a minute later, after failing to clear their lines. The ball fell kindly in the goal area for Jaimes who rounded his marker to score with a low shot to the corner.

However, Iheanacho claimed his hat-trick four minutes into the second-half, slamming home a low and hard shot at the near post after a flick-on from a long throw-in.

Chidiebere Nwakali made it 4-1 three minutes later with a shot from 25 yards out, while Isaac made it 5-1 on the hour mark when he raced on to a through-ball.

He slalomed through two Mexican defenders before firing inside the near post from 12 yards out. Iheanacho cut in from the right side after 70 minutes to strike from a long way out to make it 6-1.

Nigeria will face debutants Sweden in their next match on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the same Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium.