The Nigeria vs Sweden U-17 semifinal match held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 in Dubai ended in a 3-0 victory for Nigeria, sending them to the final against Mexico. Nigeria proved today that it is the best team in the tournament by defeating a very tough Scandinavian team. Nigeria is undefeated this tournament, and has scored 23 goals in 6 matches, while only allowing 5.
Although the 3-0 score might indicate that Nigeria dominated, it was in fact a much closer match. Sweden played its defensive still well, but it finally succumbed to a couple of goals late in the second half.
In the first half, Nigeria opened up the scoring with a goal from Awoniyi in the 21st minute. The rest of the half, and most of the match, saw Nigeria dominate the ball while Sweden held strong on defense. Nonetheless, it was clear that Nigeria was the superior team all game long.
The Eaglets sealed the win with a pair of goals in the 80th and 81st minutes via Okon and Ezeh, finally overcoming the strong defense of the European team. With the victory over the solid Swedish squad, Nigeria has proven that they are the favorites going into the U-17 World Cup Final.
On Friday in Abu Dhabi, the Eaglets will face off against the Mini Tri (Mexico), a team they defeated 6-1 in group play. However, the version of the Mexican squad they will face in the final is a huge improvement over the team they defeated early on in the tournament. Expect a very tight encounter in the final, after all, Mexico has already knocked out Italy, Brazil, and Argentina, but ultimately, I believe the Eaglets have what it takes to win it all.