The stage looks set for a thrilling climax at this year’s FIFA U 17 World Cup as Nigeria and Mexico battle for the trophy in the 2013 finals.
The Golden Eaglets, coached by Manu Garba, are hoping to etch their names in the sands of history as Nigeria guns for a record fourth title following previous wins in 1985, 1993 and 2007.
The team has continued to garner support with each win; the latest being the presence of a high-powered federal delegation led by the President of the Senate, David Mark, currently at the UAE.
The Nigerian lads have ramped up fantastic results along the way to reach their sixth final, including a 6-1 defeat of defending champions, Mexico, as well as scoring a total of 23 goals – more than any team in the competition.
Going into Friday’s final against Mexico, the Golden Eaglets, under their current handlers, have played a total of 48 matches; won 43, drew 4 and only lost once. They have scored a total of 218 goals and conceded just 53.
However, while the statistics looks very encouraging, the Eaglets coach remains cautious as he expects the Mexicans to be a tough nut to crack in Friday’s finals.
He admitted that the final match would not be a one-way traffic for Nigeria since the Mexicans would be looking to revenge their 6-1 defeat.
“Mexico would be looking for revenge but we are going to win this match because we want to set the record as the best team in the world at this level,” Manu explained.
“We respect Mexico for what they have been able to do at this World Cup but our prayer is that God will crown our efforts tomorrow.”
For Manu, who was an assistant Coach when Nigeria last won the trophy in 2007, winning on Friday would be the greatest achievement he has attained as a coach.
“Of course, I have won this trophy before but winning it on Friday by beating Mexico would be the best moment of my coaching career.”
Scottish referee, Craig Thomson, along with his compatriots, Derek Rose and Alan Mulvanny, have been picked by FIFA as officials for the final match billed for the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The fourth official is Nobert Hauata from Tahiti, while Mark Rule of New Zealand would be the Reserve Assistant Referee.
The Golden Eaglets would don the white jerseys while the El Tri would be in green. The match will kick off at 8:00 pm local time (5:00pm Nigerian time).