ABU DHABI (Sporting Alert) — Nigeria beat defending champions Mexico 3-0 to lift the FIFA U-17 World Cup crown at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium on Friday in Abu Dhabi.
It was the second time the Super Eagles were defeating the El Tri, following their 6-1 win in the group stage fixtures last month and head coach Manu Garba was confident his team would have gone all the game.
Prior to the game’s kick-off, he bragged that his attacking style of play would have been too much for any team to contain at this FIFA U-17 World Cup.
It turned out to be true.
“No defence can stop us,” Garba said. “We know that the U-17 World Cup is a unique kind of competition, but our attack is fantastic.
“When our offensive players are on form, they can break down any defence.”
An own goal by Erick Aguirre gave Nigeria the lead at half-time before the Africans scored two more in the second half.
Kelechi Iheanacho netted in the 56th minute and Musa Muhammed scored in the 81st minute to seal the win, a fitting run to end what had been a very well-contested junior tournament.
Nigeria, with the win, now lift the U-17 World Cup title for the fourth time, moving one better than South Americans Brazil.
Earlier, Sweden hammered Argentina 4-1 to take the third place honor on debut at the tournament.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Iheanacho, who scored six goals, was awarded the adidas Golden Ball and he was speechless.
“I feel good, I feel good, I feel good! I don’t know if I can find the words to say what I’m actually feeling,” Iheanacho revealed.
“I can’t even tell what I’m feeling because I’m feeling a millions things at the same time.
“I’m feeling love for my teammates and my family and my country. I’m on a high from winning the World Cup and the Golden Ball.”
FIFA U-17 World Cup Tournament Honours
7 – Valmir Berisha (SWE)
6 – Kelechi Iheanacho (NGA)
6 – Boschilia (BRA)
adidas Golden Ball: Kelechi Iheanacho (NGA)
adidas Golden Shoe: Valmir Berisha (SWE)
adidas Golden Glove: Dele Alampasu (NGA)
Argentina, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Sweden, Iraq, Morocco, Mexico, Austria, Japan, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Iran, Italy, Panama, Tunisia, Russia, Slovakia, Venezuela, Croatia, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, New Zealand, Honduras.