Nigeria became only the second side to retain the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which has a 2- win against Mali in Vina Del Mar. Victor Osimhen stole the show once more because of his record-breaking tenth goal of the tournament, with Funsho Bamgboye adding an extra moment later. Samuel Diarra had saved an early Osinachi Ebere penalty as the Malians played their part in an entertaining finale to Chile 2015.
The penalty came as both sides were just finding their rhythm within the opening exchanges, Chato at fault which has a handball. Ebere saw his low effort saved brilliantly by Diarra, the No17’s follow-up with a header hit the bar before another bite with the cherry was blocked through the Malian defense.
Both sides had chances in the tense opening period, with Golden Eaglets skipper Kelechi Nwakali hitting just wide and Boubacar Traore seeing his glancing header tipped over by Akpan Udoh.
The second half saw the game burst into life, with Emmanuel Amuneke’s words clearly working their magic for the Nigerian youngsters. Osimhen shrugged off the challenge of Mamadou Fofana before hitting a great dipping half volley towards goal, which Diarra spectacularly saved. Udochukwu Anumudu then smashed a thunderous effort at goal, which rebounded keep your distance the crossbar and it was cleared away.
Mali would not heed those warnings. Good approach abides by substitute Chinedu Madueke saw him tee up Osimhen for his record-breaking goal, seeing him surpass the nine goals scored by Florent Sinama Pongolle in 2001 and Souleymane Coulibaly 10 years later.
The holders doubled their advantage mere minutes later, with Bamgboye bursting on the Nigerian left before smashing a strong effort at goal, Diarra stands little chance.
Despite several late chances for Mali, from corner kicks, Nigeria retained possession for large spells and saw the action to retain their crown. The jubilant scenes about the final whistle in Vina Del Mar will really live long in the memories of these Nigerian heroes in the present, some of whom might get to be the stars of the future.
For more information about the U-17 Nigeria Vs Mali, visit the official website of FIFA.com