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36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
African nations have a past to be proud of at FIFA's U-17 World Cup: 4 titles (2 each for Ghana and Nigeria), 4 runner-up places (also 2 each for the Black Stars and the Super Eagles), 3 third places (Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Ghana), 1 fourth place (Guinea), 3 Golden Ball trophies for the best player of the tournament, 4 Golden Shoe trophies for the top scorer of the competition and 2 Fair-play awards are a testimony of Africa's power at this age level. Here's a bit of history about this tournament:

China 1985
Winner: Nigeria
Runners-Up: Germany Federal Republic
Third: Brazil
Fourth: Republic of Guinea
Golden Ball: WILLIAM (BRA)
Golden Shoe: WITECZEK Marcel (GER)
FIFA Fair play award: Germany Federal Republic

Canada 1987
Winner: USSR
Runners-Up: Nigeria
Third: Ivory Coast
Fourth: Italy
Golden Ball: OSUNDO Philip (NGA)
Golden Shoe: TRAORE Moussa (CIV)
FIFA Fair play award: USSR

Scotland 1989
Winner: Saudi Arabia
Runners-Up: Scotland
Third: Portugal
Fourth: Bahrain
Golden Ball: WILL James (SCO)
Golden Shoe: CAMARA Fode (GUI)
FIFA Fair play award: Bahrain

Italy 1991
Winner: Ghana
Runners-Up: Spain
Third: Argentina
Fourth: Qatar
Golden Ball: LAMPTEY Nii Odartey (GHA)
Golden Shoe: ADRIANO (BRA)
FIFA Fair play award: Argentina

Japan 1993
Winner: Nigeria
Runners-Up: Ghana
Third: Chile
Fourth: Poland
Golden Ball: ADDO Daniel (GHA)
Golden Shoe: ORUMA Wilson (NGA)
FIFA Fair play award: Nigeria

Ecuador 1995
Winner: Ghana
Runners-Up: Brazil
Third: Argentina
Fourth: Oman
Golden Ball: AL KATHIRI Mohamed (OMA)
Golden Shoe: ALLSOPP Daniel (AUS)
FIFA Fair play award: Brazil

Egypt 1997
Winner: Brazil
Runners-Up: Ghana
Third: Spain
Fourth: Germany
Golden Ball: SERGIO (ESP)
Golden Shoe: DAVID (ESP)
FIFA Fair play award: Argentina

New Zealand 1999
Winner: Brazil
Runners-Up: Australia
Third: Ghana
Fourth: USA
Golden Ball: DONOVAN Landon (USA)
Golden Shoe: ADDO Ismael (GHA)
FIFA Fair play award: Mexico

Trinidad and Tobago 2001
Winner: France
Runners-Up: Nigeria
Third: Burkina Faso
Fourth: Argentina
Golden Ball: SINAMA PONGOLLE Florent (FRA)
Golden Shoe: SINAMA PONGOLLE Florent (FRA)
FIFA Fair play award: Nigeria

Finland 2003
Winner: Brazil
Runners-Up: Spain
Third: Argentina
Fourth: Colombia
Golden Ball: FABREGAS Cesc (ESP)
Golden Shoe: FABREGAS Cesc (ESP)
FIFA Fair play award: Costa Rica

Peru 2005
Winner: Mexico
Runners-Up: Brazil
Third: Netherlands
Fourth: Turkey
Golden Ball: ANDERSON (BRA)
Golden Shoe: VELA Carlos (MEX)
FIFA Fair play award: Korea DPR

This year's tournament is taking place between 18 August and 9 September in South Korea and Togo (Group A), Nigeria (Group D), Tunisia (Group E) and Ghana (Group F) will be defending Africa's colours in the final stage of this competition.

The first round of matches of Groups A and D happened already and here are the scores:

18 Aug, Costa Rica 1-1 TOGO
18 Aug, South Korea 0-1 Peru

19 Aug, NIGERIA 2-1 France
19 Aug, Japan 3-1 Haiti

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here are the results of the two other groups involving African teams that played today:

Belgium 2-4 TUNISIA
Tajikistan 4-3 USA

Colombia 3-3 Germany
Trinidad & Tobago 1-4 GHANA

Both Tunisia and Ghana are leaders of their respective groups.

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The second round of matches in Groups A and D brought the following scores and standings:

TOGO 0-0 Peru
Costa Rica 2-0 South Korea

1 Costa Rica ......2G 1W 1D 0L 3-1 4P
2 Peru ..............2G 1W 1D 0L 1-0 4P
3 TOGO ............2G 0W 2D 0L 1-1 2P
4 South Korea ....2G 0W 0D 2L 0-3 0P

Haiti 1-1 France
Japan 0-3 NIGERIA

1 NIGERIA ...2G 2W 0D 0L 5-1 6P
2 Japan .......2G 1W 0D 1L 3-4 3P
3 France ......2G 0W 1D 1L 2-3 1P
4 Haiti ..........2G 0W 1D 1L 2-4 1P

On Group A, in order to qualify for the Last 16, Togo needs a win on their last match against South Korea and hope that Peru and Costa Rica do not arrange their game into a nice cosy draw.

On Group D Nigeria is strolling into the Last 16 under the magic of Sporting's new recruit Rabiu Ibrahim! :)

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The group stage is over and 3 out of 4 African teams qualified for the last 16.
Nigeria and Tunisia were even the only two teams until now that won all the games they've played so far. Ghana also qualified behind Germany and Togo finished last in Group A.

Here are the results of the four African nations during the group stage and also their fixtures at the 1/8 Finals:

Group A
Togo 1-1 Costa Rica
Togo 0-0 Peru
Togo 1-2 South Korea

Group D
Nigeria 2-1 France
Nigeria 3-0 Japan
Nigeria 4-1 Haiti

Group E
Tunisia 4-2 Belgium
Tunisia 3-1 USA
Tunisia 1-0 Tajikistan

Group F
Ghana 4-1 Trinidad & Tobago
Ghana 2-3 Germany
Ghana 2-1 Colombia

1/8 Finals fixtures
Nigeria vs Colombia
Ghana vs Brazil
Tunisia vs France

27,119 Posts

Tough test for favourites Nigeria

Colombia were a mere six minutes away from finishing second in their group and having to face Brazil in the Round of 16. A goal from Ghana in the 84 th minute of the final match changed the deal, however, pushing the South Americans down to third in Group F and thus meaning they avoid the Auriverde. But it may well be a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire for the Cafeteros, as they will face Nigeria, who strolled through the group stage and are now among the favourites for the title. Both teams are renowned for their physical presence on the pitch, so the Soccer Only Field at Gwangyang should witness an epic battle.

The match
Nigeria - Colombia, Gwangyang, 30 August, 17:00 (local time)

The stakes
Current African champions Nigeria journeyed to Korea with one objective in mind - lifting the trophy on 9 September. Yemi Tella's men certainly backed up these lofty ambitions right from the off, beating France, Japan and Haiti. Colombia on the other hand will be satisfied with a semi-final berth. When they managed to come from 3-1 behind to snatch a draw against Germany, Eduardo Lara's troops showed that they can move mountains when they put their minds to it. This is now the knock-out stage, however, and only one team can go through, so someone will be taking an early flight home.

The players
As befits a match of this stature, there are no injuries or suspensions affecting either side and both teams will have full squads to choose from.

The past
The only previous time the two countries met in a FIFA competition, none of the players present here in Korea were born. At the Olympic football tournament in 1980, Colombia squeezed home 1-0 against their African opponents.

On a less positive note for the Cafeteros, Nigeria have already won all three of their group matches in the past on two occasions, in 1993 and 2001. Both times, the Golden Eaglets went on to reach the Final... The Nigerians will have to be extra vigilant between the 60 th and 70 th minutes of the match, since that is when Colombia have scored five of their nine goals at the tournament so far.

The words
"The coach keeps telling us that we are the best youngsters Nigeria have ever had and I agree with him. It's a real joy to be part of this team. We've got what it takes to win this tournament and we all have that winning mentality." Macauley Chrisantus,Nigeriaforward

"Nigeria will be a tough opponent. We know their reputation in this age group, but this match starts at 0-0. Whichever team makes a mistake will be heading home." Eduardo Lara,Colombiacoach


36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The amazing display of quality African football goes on in South Korea's U17 World Cup.

easily beat Peru 2-0 and reached the semi finals where they will face a disappointing Spanish squad that only relies on the class of...a Serbian.

Nigeria goes on spreading class and solidity and once again showed it against the powerhouse of Argentina. 2-0 and they are also on the semis where they will face probably their biggest opponent on the way to win this tournament, Germany.

Two big games ahead and a great chance for African football to return to the highest place in the hierarchy of youth football at this age level.

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Chrisantus: Oyachukunogaja!
Wednesday 5 September 2007
in FIFA.com

Natural-born strikers always share some qualities: an ability to be in the right place at the right time, a keen eye for the goal, and a cool finishing touch under pressure. At the tender age of 17, Nigeria's Macauley Chrisantus seems to have all these already.

Having scored four goals during the African qualifiers in Togo in March, Chrisantus bagged five more - including two braces against Japan and Haiti - during the group stage at Korea 2007. Although his scoring run came to a short stop in the Round of 16 clash with Colombia, the No9 found the net against Argentina to become the best scorer of the tournament so far.

However, the FC Abuja forward is not satisfied yet and has set his sights higher. "There's no limit for me," he told FIFA.com. "I want to score as many goals as I can, maybe 8 to 9 goals."

That would probably be just enough for him to win the Golden Boot in this competition and lead the Golden Eaglets to winning a third world crown on 9 September. But before that, the Nigerians have to face a tough challenge in the shape of Germany.

Team work and divine strength
"Whoever our next opponents will be, we have confidence in our team because we have no weakness," explains Chrisantus. "We always play as a team, and as a family."

That said, the Golden Eaglets could not have made it to the last four so easily if Chrisantus was not there. "But I couldn't have scored so many goals without the help from my team-mates," says the striker who also had two assists to help his team-mates in return.

An admirer of Thierry Henry, the Eaglet has scored all of six goals with his right foot but he does not want to resemble his idol so closely. "Well, my role model is myself," smiles Chrisantus. "I'd love to play for (Henry's former club) Arsenal, where young players with talent grow into real professionals, but for now I have to develop my own game."

While he is trying to establish his game and mix his talent in harmony with his team-mates, there is another factor behind Nigeria's success so far. It is almost impossible to imagine them playing without their supporters, who were virtually everywhere, even when Nigeria visited Korea for the first time in June for the Eight Nations tournament.

And Chrisantus admits there is nothing to fear, with the Nigerian fans following their game and cheering up the Golden Eaglets with familiar tunes. They have been traveling all the way from Gwangyang to Jeju and then from Cheonan to Suwon with a brass band.

"The famous song is called Oyachukunogaja which means 'God is our strength.' It's true that the fans have helped us a lot during the games and we want to win the trophy for them. That's our target."

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Osei keen to have the last word
Tuesday 4 September 2007

With most well-grooved goalscorers there is a secret to their success. Observing, studying and even copying fellow members of the goalscoring union is one thing, but when it comes to slotting the ball into the back of the net most penalty-box assassins develop their own unique style, drawing on any spur or motivation to help them get the job done. And for Ghanaian goal machine Ransford Osei, there is no better motivation than a good night's sleep.

"Whenever I miss chances I can't sleep at night," Osei, a firm candidate to pocket the adidas Golden Shoe at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007, tells FIFA.com. "I go through them over and over again in my mind, replaying them until I find the exact movement I should have made out on the pitch. When I'm sure I've learned my lesson I relax a little bit, but even then I know I'm not going to sleep that well."

Born in the Ghanaian capital of Accra on 5 December 1990, Osei arrived in Korea intent on finishing the competition as top scorer. And with five goals in as many games, it is a case of so far, so good for the free-scoring forward. His tournament haul includes a brace against Trinidad and Tobago and further goals against Germany and Colombia in the group phase prior to a quarter-final strike against Peru. The only side not to feature on Osei's growing list of victims were Brazil in the Round of 16, a match that was inevitably followed by a night of tossing and turning. "Yes, it's true. I didn't sleep that night either. But at least I'd scored against them in the Eight Nations tournament we played here a few months ago," he smiles.

Osei, who also has a couple of assists to his name in the Far East, currently lies second in the scoring charts behind Nigeria's six-goal sharpshooter Macauley Chrisantus but one ahead of Spain's Bojan and Richard Sukuta-Pasu of Germany. "Every time Chrisantus scores I have to work that bit harder to overtake him," says the Black Starlets' No10, clearly determined to add to his tally.

Looking, listening and learning
While Osei's obsession with his sleeping patterns certainly plays its part, he would not be where he is now without dedication and hard work. "I used to be a bit scared when I was front of goal but my coach Sellas Tetteh helped me overcome that. I also learnt how to position myself and to know exactly where defenders and the goal were before receiving the ball. So when I get the ball now, I know exactly what I'm going to do and that gives me an advantage over them," explains the opportunistic striker, currently with Ghanaian club side Kessben FC.

And when it comes to designing the perfect striker, he has one particular model in mind. "I'd love to have Patrick Kluivert's heading ability, the speed and ball control of Samuel Eto'o and the finishing skills of Thierry Henry. I've got a few videos of him that I watch very closely."

Eyes on the prize
With a semi-final date against Spain just hours away, Osei is confident he and his team-mates can continue to handle the pressure of being among the tournament favourites. "It's not been easy by any means, but we are determined to reach the Final. We've been concentrating hard but trying to stay relaxed and that has helped us cope with being one of the teams to beat. We haven't let the reputations of our opponents get to us either. We showed that against Brazil by beating them with just ten men."

Keen not to underestimate Spain, Osei does not want to give them too much respect either. "They are a very fine side, but we are not scared of them," he assures. "We'll be trying to stop them playing their game by pressing and frustrating them. They've got some dangerous players like the No 9 [Bojan], but I've got confidence in our defence. They won't give him as much space as he's had up to now."

In fact, so confident is Osei of success that he is predicting an all-African title fight. "The Final will be against Nigeria. They beat us in the African qualifying tournament and we want our revenge right here."

And with that self-same determination in his voice, Ghana's fox in the box rounds off in typically bullish style. "Last year, when I saw my country's players celebrating at Germany 2006, I said to myself that I wanted to be in their position. And today here I am in the semi-finals of a World Cup. I also promised myself I would not let the nation down. I know we can be champions here and take the trophy back home."

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The semi finals of 2007 U17 World Cup are over and Africa will have one team to dispute the trophy in the final.

Nigeria today deservedly beat a strong German team 3-1 to make it to the final where they will face Spain that yesterday narrowly beat Ghana on extra time.

I've said it before on these boards and I keep my opinion that Nigeria was until now the best team in this tournament and I don't think they will disappoint their singing and dancing fans on Sunday in Seoul. :)


Wednesday, 05.09.2007
Spain 2-1 Ghana (AET)
[Daniel Aquino 67', Bojan 116'; Sadick Adams 80']

Thursday, 06.09.2007
Nigeria 3-1 Germany
[Macauley Chrisantus 10', Yakubu Alfa 18', Kabiru Akinsola 90+4'; Toni Kroos 33']

3rd place play-off

Sunday, 09.09.2007 - 09h00 CET
Ghana vs Germany


Sunday, 09.09.2007 - 12h00 CET
Nigeria vs Spain

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Nigeria are World Champions on U17 level! :happy:

After a very tight final against a better Spain than the one that appeared before in this tournament, Nigeria won 3-0 in the penalty shoot out and deservedly grabbed the world title for the second time in their history.

They were overall the best team in the tournament and that was clear since the first day when they overcame France with style.

Earlier today Ghana narrowly and somehow undeservedly lost 1-2 against Germany but ended in a very good 4th post.

Overall it was a great tournament for African Youth Football.

3rd place play off

Ghana 1-2 Germany
[Ransford Osei 67'; Tony Kroos 17', Alexander Esswein 90+2']


Nigeria 0-0 Spain (AET 3-0 pen.)

Macauley Chrisantus from Nigeria won the Golden Shoe for the top scorer of the tournament with 7 goals and now let us see who will win the Golden Ball.

36,665 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Some pics of the champions...

Captain Haruna lifting the trophy

Three times U17 World Champions

Macauley Chrisantus: Golden Shoe (Top scorer of the tournament with 7 goals) and Silver Ball (2nd best player of the tournament)

Rabiu Ibrahim: the best player from Nigeria...and future Sporting's number 10 :proud:​

27,119 Posts
I just watched the replay of the match and WOW a big congrats to Nigeria they were perfect in the penalty kick shootout! :thumbsup:

10,421 Posts
Very nice. If only we would be as good on senior level. Didn't see anything at all from the tournament, but I'm happy and proud nonetheless. Although I'm sure that people will start whining that our guys are way over 17 years old.:rolleyes:
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