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The Biggest Match in Africa Today: Nigeria vs Mali U-17 World Cup Final

Sunday’s Fifa Under-17 World Cup final which will obviously be the biggest match in Africa today, will be unique in more ways than one when English referee Michael Oliver gets proceedings underway at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina Del Mar. Both Nigeria and Mali sure deserve to be where they are at the moment, and either of the two teams is good enough to take home the trophy. Both Nigeria and Mali have flown the continent’s flag with pride en route to today’s final, and it’s a great day for African football.

 

This will be Nigeria’s second successive trip to the final after beating Mexico 3-0 in the final to win the last edition in the United Arab Emirates. It will also be a second all-Africa final at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup after Nigeria edged out Ghana 1-0 in the final of the 1993 edition in Japan where a Wilson Oruma header put the Starlets to the sword. Four time champions Nigeria will look to make it a fifth trophy at under-17 level and also a record eight appearances in the final of the competition.

 

Mali, who are the African champions at this level will hope to make it their first Fifa Under-17 World Cup title in their history. The two teams are arguably the best two sides at this year’s edition after powering their way to the final with some swashbuckling displays in the last two weeks. It will be interesting to see how two sides, known for fast attacking football, go at each other in Sunday’s final. If both sides play the way they normally do, then we will be in for an entertaining football regalement.

 

Intereting Facts:

 

* Last time an all-African final took place was 22 years ago at Japan 1993. Nigeria beat Ghana to win the trophy

* Nigeria's total goal tally at Chile 2015 is 21 goals leading to the final while Mali have scored 12 goals.

*Top scorer for the Nigeria side is Victor Osimhen with nine goals while Sidiki Maiga leads Mali’s goalscorers with three goals.

*Nigeria has appeared in eight finals of the Fifa Under-17 World Cup while Mali will be making their first ever appearance in the final in only their fourth Fifa Under-17 World Cup.

*The Golden Eaglets have attempted 199 shots at goal and scored 21 goals as against Mali's 132 attempts at goal with 12 goals to boot.

*Nigeria has never won the U17 World Cup outside the continent of Asia. They were finalist in Canada 1987, Trinidad and Tobago 2001 and Nigeria 2009.

 

Squad Lists

Mali                          Nigeria

1 SAMUEL (GK)    1 UDOH (GK)

2 DANTE                2 LAZARUS

3 CHATO                3 IBE

4 SIMPARA             4 ENOGELA

5 SANGARE           5 ZAKARI

6 ISMAEL                6 MICHAEL

7 MAIGA                  7 BAMGBOYE

8 DIAKITE               8 CHUKWUEZE

9 MALLE                 9 OSIMHEN

10 HAIDARA MO.  10 NWAKALI

11 BOUBACAR      11 MADUEKE

12 SORY I.             12 AGOR

13 BOURAMA        13 OSIKEL

14 MAMADY           14 IKWU

15 FOFANA            15 ANUMUDU

16 ALOU (GK)       16 BENJAMIN (GK)

17 OUSMANE        17 EBERE

18 HAIDARA A.      18 ESSIEN

19 ZOUMANA        19 ALIMI

20 KOITA                20 OKONKWO

21 KOUYATE (GK)21 CHIAHA (GK)

 

Coach Coach Baye BA (MLI) Emmanuel AMUNEKE (NGA)

 

 

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