The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria are through to the final at the on-going FIFA U17 world championship in Chile. The Nigerians came from behind to beat a well organized Mexican side 4 – 2. It was an epic encounter as the Eaglets fought so hard to earn Nigeria a chance to defend their title.
Read our live minute by minute coverage of the terrific encounter.
Action returns at the on-going FIFA U17 world championship in Chile as the competition gets to its final stage.
The Golden Eaglets take-on their Mexican counterparts in a mouth-watering semi-final battle, tagged that ‘Clash Of The Powerhouse.’
The two teams are familiar foes as they have met three times at this youth competition.
Nigeria 0 Mexico 1- July 16, 1987
Mexico 1 Nigeria 6 – (Group stage) October 19, 2013
Nigeria 3 Mexico 0 – (Semi Final) November 8, 2013.
Watch the best moments of the game (the article continues below):
At this tournament, the Eaglets are known for their energetic and relentless attacking play spearheaded by the record-chasing front-man, Victor Osimhen, who has netted eight times for Nigeria, one short of Sinama Pongolle of France, who scored nine goals at the 2001 championship in Trinidad and Tobago.
On the other hand, Mexico are so much experienced in outclassing a high-scoring side as they were able to pocket Germany, which came into their group match with a record of eight goals in two games.
Mexico: 21A. ROMERO (GK) 2D. CORTES 3J. ESQUIVEL (C) 4F. VENEGAS 6A. CERVANTES 7K. LARA 8P. LOPEZ 9E. AGUIRRE 10C. ZAMUDIO 11K. MAGAÑA 15E. LARA
Nigeria: 1UDOH (GK) 2LAZARUS 4ENOGELA 5ZAKARI 8CHUKWUEZE 9OSIMHEN 10NWAKALI (C) 14IKWU 15ANUMUDU 17EBERE 20OKONKWO.
95′ FULL TIME! It’s an astonishing game with a couple of brilliant strikes. Nigeria’s Osimhen also got on the score sheet, making him the joint top scorer at this level along-side Sinama Pongolle of France with nine goals. It ended; Nigeria 4 – 2 Mexico.
93′ The Eaglets are coasting home to victory here. Osikel’s effort sails inches wide.
92′ Danger here for Nigeria as Esquivel was left unmarked in the Nigerian area…., wide he shoots.
91′ Five minutes added-on.
90′ Nigeria makes the final substitution as Osikel replaces Okonkwo. The Eaglets look very relaxed and have taken control after their fourth goal.
89′ Osimhen with another chance, Romero rushes to his path. Great block that was. Anumudu skies another shot over the bar.
87′ The North Americans have thrown all their players forward. They need to watch it. The Nigerians are fast on the counter.
84′ Nigeria makes another change as Chukwueze is rested for Alimi. Emmanuel Amunike still looks worried.
82′ GOOOOALLLL! Osimhen sends the goalkeeper the wrong way. It’s Nigeria 4 – 2 Mexico.
82′ Penalty to Nigeria! Osimhen to take it.
81′ Nigeria launches another attack through Lazarus; but Lopes yet again stalls the move by the Nigerians. The Eaglets need to consolidate on their lead as Okonkwo falls to the pitch. Time wasting strategy?
80′ Osimhen with an empty net! Poor! That was poor from the ‘goal machine’. He needed more power behind that ball.
78′ An ambitious freekick by Nwakali was parried by Romero.
76′ The Nigerian number-9, Victor Osimhen, has been properly shut-out by the Mexicans.
74′ OOOOOuuuch! Chukwueze hits the upright from a powerful left-foot. That would have been the end of this game. The Eaglets are looking good to extend their lead here.
72′ The Mexicans are taking no chances at all.
70′ It’s not over yet. It’s an end-to-end game right now as the attackers of both teams are working so hard for their respective nations.
67′ GOOOOAAAALLL! Nigeria back in front. Ebere squeezes it in from a very tight angle. What a game this is. Nigeria 3 – 2 Mexico.
66′ Substitution. Claudio Zamudio comes of for Gurrola as Mexico makes their second change.
65′ Nigeria looking for the lead again, as Okonkwo fires a shot over the bar.
62′ Mexico substitution! Lara comes off for Escalante.
59′ GOOOOOOAAAALLL! Diego Cortes scores a magnificent goal to get Mexico back on leveled-terms. He dribbles one, two, three, four, five Nigerians on his way to the net. What a beauty!
55′ Great through-ball to Magana who beats two Nigerian defenders, but his shot was off the mark. Nigeria ‘escapes’!
54′ It’s three-against-three as Nigeria launches a counter….great sliding block by a Mexican defender; that was heading straight into the net.
52′ The Nigerian coach is now up to his feet, dishing-out instructions to his boys. Nwakali with another powerful shot which is just inches wide.
50′ It’s an even game now, as both teams begin to play with tactical caution as Mexico wastes another opportunity. Offside though!
49′ Osimhen tries to nutmeg Venegas, but the defender was up to the task, as he helps his team repel the danger.
48′ Ebere with a through-pass to Osimhen…, the reverse-pass into the 18 was ballooned over the bar by Nwakali for a Mexico freekick.
47′ Great block by Chukwueze for a Nigeria counter; Osimhen caught offside.
46′ Second half returns as the Golden Eaglets are 45 minutes away from the final of this tournament. Mexico will surely pour all their arsenals out.
HT: Nigeria 2 – 1 Mexico
45′ One minute added-on in this first half. As this hugely entertaining first-half comes to an end.
44′ The Golden Eaglets are beginning to settle into this game. Swift move by the mid-fielders.
43′ Gooooooaaaallll!Okonkwo scores a stunner. What a strike from 25 yards out! Nigeria 2 – 1 Mexico
39′ The fans are loving this as the take to the Mexican wave. The Eaglets look much better after their equalizer.
38′ Nice pace by Osimhen forces Romero out of the goal post. Nigeria wins another corner kick
35′ Great inter-change by Nwakali and Anamudu as Nigeria press for the lead.
33′ GOOOOOAAAALLL! Nwakali has single-handedly brought Nigeria back into the game with a terrific freekick.
32′ Lucky Lara escapes a yellow card from the referee as he brings-down Anamudu. Nigeria wins a freekick just outside the Mexican area.
30′ The Eaglets lack co-ordination as they yet again lose possession unnecessarily. Anamudu with a clearance, throwing Mexico.
29′ Free header! What an astonishing save by Udoh. That was class. Mexico looking good to extend their lead.
28′ Cruel challenge on Magana the goalscorer by Okonkwo; freekick to Mexico in a dangerous position.
25′ Osimhen ‘steals’ the ball from the Mexicans for a Nigeria counter; Chukwueze’s shot sails over the bar.
22′ Nigeria continue to pile the pressure. Can they get a goal anytime soon? Ikwu’s cross was cleared.
20′ So far, Nigeria has enjoyed a better share of the possession, but Coach Emmanuel Emenike looks frustrated at the scoreline as his boys continue to trail.
17′ All moves by the Eaglets have been effectively repelled by a well organized Mexico defence. As Nigeria’s Football Federation chairman, Amaju Pinnick, watches from the stands.
15′ A great cross into the area…..Osimhen’s header was too tame to trouble the Mexican goalkeeper. Mexico continue to lead the tournaments’ favourite.
13′ Nigeria lose possession again as the Mexicans disposes the defending champions yet again
11′ Goodness! Another delicious low-cross into the Nigerian danger-zone was just missed by Lara. It really should have been two nil. The Eaglets have not been fantastic defensively.
9′ It’s all about the North Americans now. The Mexicans keep spreading the ball around the centre-circle and looking good to complement their lead. Can the Eaglets get back soon?
8′ GOOOOAAAALLL! Mexico takes the lead through a low drive from Magana. The Nigerian defenders were lost!
7′ Great in-swinger into the dangerous area to Ebere…., offside says the referee.
6′ There are five 16-year-olds in the Nigerian first eleven, as the Eaglets continue to attack. Cortes was forced to give Nigeria the first cornerkick.
3′ Great foot-work by Aguirre and he his exposed to the Nigerian goalkeeper….oooh that was a poor finish and a fine save by Udoh in goal for Nigeria.
1′ We are underway here and the North Americans with the first attack of the game. Properly repelled by the Africans. Mexico play in all whites, while the Eaglets are clad in their green jersey with white stripes.