Friday, September 14, 2007

BBC Sport: Football

Nigeria reach U-17 semi-finals

Macauley Chrisantus celebrates after scoring Nigeria's second goal
Nigeria defeated Argentina 2-0 on Sunday to reach the semi-finals of the under-17 World Cup in South Korea.
The Golden Eaglets will face Germany in Thursday's semi-finals after the Europeans thrashed their rivals England 4-1 in the other quarter-final match on Sunday.
Nigeria were on the back-foot from the first minute and goalkeeper Oladele Ajiboye had to make two saves prevent the South Americans.
But the tables were turned in the 33rd minutes when Lukman Haruna was brought down in the penalty area by Fernando Meza.
The Nigerian captain picked himself up and dispatched the resultant penalty with aplomb to hand the West Africans the lead.
The Golden Eaglets continued to dominate and they doubled their lead just before the break when Macauley Chrisantus scored from the edge of the box.
Argentina had a couple of chances to narrow the deficit, but Nigeria hung on to reach the semi-finals for the fifth time at an under-17 World Cup.
The Golden Eagles will be trying to keep up the nation's record of winning all its previous four semi-finals.
"Argentina were a lot tougher to beat than the result suggests," Nigeria coach Yemi Tella said.
"They were at their most dangerous from set pieces, but we were very well prepared for that."
Argentina coach Miguel Angel Tojo predicted Nigeria will meet west African rival Ghana in the final.
"We gave it all we had, but it just wasn't enough," Tojo said.
"We've played teams from every continent at this World Cup, which has been a tremendous experience for my players."
The other semi-final will pit Ghana against Spain on Wednesday, with both teams winning their quarter-final ties on Saturday.

1 comment:

zen said...

I have always believed Nigeria is a country with so many resources and so much potential! No doubt there are areas of depravity, lack, and corruption but Nigeria can and will rise again and take its place: one of appreciation and success. To me, the U17 football team winning the finals is like a beacon of hope...They represent a part of Nigeria's future, where we are going as a nation...up and up!