Nigeria’s U-17 male soccer team, The Golden Eaglets will today in Chile begin the defence of the U-17 World Cup they won two years ago in UAE. The coach Emmanuel Amuneke lads will play their opening group game today against USA by 9pm Nigerian time. Other African representatives are Guinea, Mali and South Africa.
The 2013 edition saw a joyful Nigerian outfit win a record fourth junior world crown for the west African nation with Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho winning the Golden Ball (MVP) and Silver Shoe while Dele Alampasu won the Golden Glove. This team also featured the likes of Isaac Success and Taiwo Awoniyi.
Nigeria won the maiden edition of the tournament (then U-16) in China in 1985 with a team that featured the likes of Nduka Ugbade, Victor Igbinoba, Chukwuma Nwoha and Jonathan Akpoborie. Nigeria won the second U-17 crown in Japan in 1993 with a team that featured the likes of Nwankwo Kanu, Wilson Oruma, Celestine Babayaro and Karibe Ojigwe. Nigeria’s third triumph was in South Korea in 2007 where the likes of Macauley Chrisantus, Lukman Haruna, King Osanga and Rabiu Ibrahim were featured.
Nigeria’s pedigree in this world cup category is also helped by the fact that the Golden Eaglets got the silver trophies at the 1987, 2001 and 2009 editions. Nigeria’s Philip Osondu and Sani Emmanuel won the Golden Boot awards in 1987 and 2009 respectively. Wilson Oruma and Macauley Chrisantus won the Golden Ball awards in 1993 and 2007 respectively. The Golden Eaglets as a team won the fair play awards in 1993, 2001, 2009 and 2013.
Golden Eaglets Group A Engagements:
Saturday 17 October 2015:
Nigeria vs USA 9pm
Tuesday 20 October 2015:
Chile vs Nigeria 12am (Wednesday morning)
Friday 23 October 2015:
Croatia vs Nigeria 12am (Saturday morning)
*Time = Nigerian