Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets defended their U-17 World Cup title for the first time with a 2-0 victory over Mali. The first half of the match ended a goalless draw. Ebere got the best chance for Nigeria from the spot but his penalty was saved.
Victor Osimhen however gave Nigeria an early lead in the 56th minute, scoring his 10th goal and the highest in the tournament. Bamgboye later capitalized on an error from the Mali goalkeeper to wrap up proceedings.
Nigeria has just joined Brazil as the only countries to successfully defend the U17 World Cup. Victor Osimhen and Kelechi Nwakali emerged Golden boot and Golden ball winners respectively.
The elated Golden Eaglets coach, Emmanuel Amuneke described the victory as a dream come true.
“It was a beautiful and entertaining match. I think the people in the stadium enjoyed it today. We knew that Mali are technically very strong, have great individual players and are very fast. We wanted to make no mistakes but we lost the ball many times in the midfield in the first half. But I don’t want to complain because they are all kids. We changed some things in the second half and made some substitutes. That brought us more safety in our game.
“We are thankful for everything. We wanted to bring the players to their dreams and we did it. Thanks for the support. We feel like we are at home. We have worked very hard for this success and we hope to continue. The players will go home now but their journey is not over yet. Personally, I’m really happy. I have football in my blood, as a player and as a coach. This is what I want to pass to my players.” The ex- Nigeria international was quoted on FIFA.com