The Nigerian youngsters face Mali in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile seeking an unprecedented fifth triumph at the cadet event. After three weeks and fifty two matches, Chile 2015 has seen 24 teams from six confederations reduced to two sides in the final with the trophy definitely going back to Africa.
SoccerNet Nigeria shares nine facts that indicate the Golden Eaglets will carry the day.
#1. Nigeria hold a clear lead in the head-to-head record between the two nations’ combined senior and junior sides with four wins, three draws and only two defeats.
#2. The Golden Eaglets are the the first team ever to win the junior world cup four times. A fifth victory should not faze the lads even though no other side has ever attempted it.
#3. Top scorer Victor Osimhen has scored in every single game at the tournament and there’s likely no stopping him from punishing the Malians.
#4. Nigeria has never lost to any African opposition at the cadet world cup having triumph over the likes of Ghana and Burkina Faso.
#5. The last time Nigeria met an African opposition at the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup was in 1993 when a Kanu-inspired Golden Eaglets thrashed the Black Starlets of Ghana 2-1 to lift their second trophy. Nigeria has won two more titles since.
#6. It’s the first time two teams from the same confederations will go toe-to-toe in the final of the tourney in 22 years and ten editions, after CAF sides Ghana and Nigeria met in the final back in 1993.
#7. The Nigerian youngsters have scored the most goals at this tournament. They only need to replicate that form to assure victory at this final hurdle.
#8. No other player in the history of the tourney has outscored wonder kid, Victor Osimhen. His 9 goals so far bring him level with France’s Florent Sinama Pongolle.
#9. This is the first time Nigeria will be taking on Mali at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The other African sides who have tried have all failed to beat the Golden Eaglets.