Eaglets book final ticket


Eaglets book final ticket

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets early this morning survived an initial Mexico’s scare to cruise into her eight final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The four-time champions  booked a date with  fellow  African brothers Mali after beating the South Americans 4-2 in a six goal thriller at the Estadio Municipal Ester Roa  in Conception .
The El Tri fired the first salvo through Eduardo Aguirre but he was curtailed by Nigeria’s Akpan Udoh, who pulled a save to deny an
early goal.
Just before the Eaglets could settle down into the game, the Mexican got the first goal  with Kevin Magana strike  in the 8th minute.
Again, the South Americans came close to increasing the tally but the pass from the left flank evaded their attackers in Nigeria’s ark.
The Nigerian side looked rattled and could only manage one attempt at goal through Victor Osimhen but his effort failed to trouble the Mexican goalkeeper, Abraham Romero.
Moments later, the table turned against the Mexicans as Nigeria  settled into the game as they made a couple of attempts at forcing an equalizer.
Goalkeeper Udoh was again call to action with a brilliant save in the 29th minute to keep Nigeria in the game.
Against the run of play, Nigeria grabbed an equalizer through Kelechi Nwakali’s free kick in the 35th minute. The strike roared above the wall into the South Americans net for what could be regarded as one of the best goals of  the tournament.
Nigeria struck again through Orji Okwonkwo’s solo run in the 43rd minute of the tie.
Just  on the mark of an hour, the Mexicans renewed their drive for an equalizer. They did that in a fashionable way as Diego Cortes cut past Nigeria’s defenders to score their second goal.
In the 66th minute, Osinachi Ebere broke loose from the right to return Nigeria back into  the lead.
The Eaglets were close to scoring another but the upright denied Samuel Chukwueze what would have been a  spectacular goal. Osimhen scored from a spot kick to make it 4-2  to  equal Florent Sinama Pongolle’s 9-goal record.
Nigeria, Mali would be playing the  second all Africa final at the U-17 World Cup after the Japan ‘93 edition where the Kanu Nwankwo-led Eaglets defeated Ghana 2-1.
In the first semi final, Mali come-from-behind to beat Belgium 3-1.
Nigeria would battle to win her fifth title  against Mali  on Sunday, while Mexico will slug it out with Belgium in the third place in Vina Del Mar.

CULLED FROM SUNNEWSONLINE