FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Finals:
Nigeria vs Mali
Date: Sun. 8 November 2015
Time. 19:00 pm (Chile Local time)
23:00 pm (11.00pm Nigerian Time)
Venue: Estadio SausalitoVina Del Mar
U17 WC finals: Nigeria Vs Mali, Full stats, must see!
TEAM PROFILE: MALI
Mali enjoyed a run of their only three appearances at the finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup consecutively, starting in 1997 and ending in 2001, but since then they have been absent from the showpiece event. In 1997 Les Aiglonnets were only denied a place in the semi-finals by a penalty shoot-out against Germany when Seydou Keita, who went on to win international fame and played for clubs like Marseille, Barcelona and Roma, missed his side’s fifth penalty. Two years later they crashed out in the first round, but in the 2001 edition they again came agonizingly close to a place amongst the top four, but were denied by Argentina, who won 2-1 after extra-time.
Mali only qualified for the finals of the African championships due to an administrative mistake made by Benin, who fielded four ineligible players in the first round of qualifying. But in Niger, the Malians had few problems, topping their group after victories against Cameroon (3-1) and Côte d’Ivoire (1-0) and drawing with South Africa (2-2). That saw them secure their ticket to Chile, but there was more on offer as they beat Guinea 2-1 in the semi-finals and outplayed South Africa to win their first-ever continental trophy with a 2-0 victory in the final match.
The success in Niger brought on huge celebrations back home with the country’s president leading the way, saying: “I am proud of these young players who planted the Malian flag on the roof of Africa during the competition.” The whole country is now looking for more success in Chile and coach Baye Bah has said that they will go to South America to valiantly defend African football. “We will respect all our opponents, but our goal is to go as far as possible. My players have the determination to compete in the semi-final or even the final of the World Cup.”
Facts and Figures
Seydou Keita, Mahamadou Diarra, Adama Coulibaly, Mamadou Diallo, Drissa Diakite
Aly Malle, Sidiki Maiga, Boubabcar Traore
10 – The number of goals that Mali scored from five outings in qualifying, making them the tournament’s highest scoring team.
TEAM PROFILE: NIGERIA
The only word to describe Nigeria’s past in the FIFA U-17 World Cup is glorious. No other country has won the tournament as often as the Golden Eaglets (four times) and only Brazil can match their seven semi-final appearances. Remarkably, the team has made it through to the decider every time they advanced to the last four. The west Africans won the inaugural competition in China PR in 1985 and added titles in 1993, 2007 and last time out. They lost the 1987, 2001 and 2009 finals. The only time they qualified for the global event but failed to progress out of the group stage was in 2003, when they were denied a place in the last eight by the drawing of lots after finishing equal on points, goals and goal difference with Costa Rica.
As overwhelming pre-tournament favourites the Golden Eaglets had an easy passage into the last four at the African championships, thereby booking their place in Chile 2015. Victories over hosts Niger (2-0) and Zambia (3-1) and a 1-1 draw against Guinea saw them top the group. However, in the semi-finals, the west Africans were stunned by an impressive South African team, who grabbed a first-half goal and then held on to their win. And though Nigeria lost the play-off for third place against Guinea 3-1, coach Emmanuel Amuneke said they had achieved their objective and would expect to be at their best in the world finals.
Surprisingly, the Golden Eaglets have been more successful on the global stage than in Africa. It is not something that surprises Amuneke, who says that the conditions at the World Cup are more suitable to his side but has naturally been focused on hsi young team. ”For us to be champions of the world, we have to prepare very well. We have been trying to correct some of the mistakes and lapses we noticed in Niger.”
Facts and Figures
Jonathan Akpoborie, Nwankwo Kanu, Wilson Oruma, John Obi Mikel, Lukman Haruna, Ogenyi Onazi, Kenneth Omeruo
Kelechi Nwakali, Victor Osimhen, Ebere Osinachi, Samuel Chukwueze
10 – The number of appearances that Nigeria has made at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals – winning the competition an unprecedented