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(Sporting Alert) — Defending champions Mexico will battle with three-time champion Nigeria in the final of the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium on Friday in Abu Dhabi.
The slated matchup will be the second clash between these two nations at this year’s tournament, following their head-to-head battle in the group stage.
When they first met at Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium on October, Nigeria hammered the reigning title holders 6-1 in their Group F group of death opener, but the North American giants have certainly recovered.
On their way to reaching the final, Mexico dumped several high-profiled teams such as Italy, Brazil and Argentina, and Nigeria coach Manu Garba is well aware of the threat El Tri brings.
Both teams started the tournament as pre-favourites and picked up respective 3-0 victories in their semi-finals. Mexico, the 2011 champions beat Argentina, while Nigeria ended Sweden’s quest for the top silverware.
“There won’t be any pressure on us against Mexico, because we’ll be physically and mentally prepared for the match,” Garba said ahead of the battle.
“But I repeat that Mexico are a dangerous and very skilful team. We’ve witnessed their resilience since losing to us 6-1, a result which did not prevent them from reaching the final.”
Nigeria’s route to the final saw them beating Iran, Uruguay and Sweden in the knock-out round.