The Mexico vs Nigeria U-17 FIFA World Cup Final match will take place this Friday, November 8, 2013 (8:00 AM Pacific) at the Mohammed Bin Zayid Stadium in Abu Dhabi. This will be a clash between the two best teams of the tournament: Mexico, the defending champion, and Nigeria, a squad that has already won this tournament three times before.
Mexico and Nigeria met on October 19 to open up play in Group F, Nigeria ended up crushing Mexico by a wide margin: 6-1. Since then, Nigeria has kept dominating its opposition, while Mexico has improved considerably, you would almost think this version of the Mini Tri has different players- it doesn’t.
Nonetheless, the Golden Eaglets are favorites to win the title: Nigeria has scored 23 goals in six matches, while only allowing five goals, and has not tasted defeat. Mexico definitely deserves to be in the final though, and I would not be surprised if the Mini Tri ended up with the title.
Coach Gutierrez was able to re-energize his team after the 6-1 loss to Nigeria, since then, Mexico has been unbeatable. In the five matches Mexico played after Nigeria, Mexico has won them all, scored 10 times, and allowed just two goals. This is a squad that uses a compact formation to defend well and counterattack with exceeding efficiency. The match-up against the free-flowing Nigerian style should be great to watch.
Players to Watch
Mexico is a group characterized by the fact that it doesn’t really possess players who might be considered stars, their success is definitely due to the group effort. However,
Raul Gudiño, the goalkeeper, is definitely a key player in the Mexican squad. Gudiño has been huge in the knockout stages, playing a vital role in Mexico’s victories over powerhouses Italy, Brazil and Argentina. Against Nigeria, Gudiño will once again have to play at a high level, given that the Nigerians will most likely generate plenty of scoring opportunities.
For Nigeria, the key player to watch will be striker Kelechi Iheanacho, who has scored five goals this tournament (including four against Mexico). The speedy striker has been an important part of Nigeria’s success in this tournament. However, if Iheanacho were to have an off game, the Eaglets still have plenty of players who can score, including Yahaya (4 goals), and Awoniyi (4 goals).
Mexico vs Nigeria World Cup Final Prediction
The Mexico vs Nigeria U-17 Final will be intense, both teams have shown throughout this tournament that they deserve to win it all. It will be a classic match-up between the free-flowing, attacking style of the Nigerians, against the compact, defensive style of Mexico. The entire match could potentially hinge upon who scores first.
If Mexico were to score first, the Mini Tri would be allowed to play its best style, the counterattack. Knowing the Nigerians would have to attack is exactly what Mexico needs to take advantage in the match. On the other hand, if Nigeria were to take the lead early on, it would force Mexico to open up and attack, creating more attacking space for the Nigerians, where they excel. Whoever scores first will have a huge advantage.
In the end, I believe the Nigerians will come out victorious, although it will be a very close match, nothing like the 6-1 game we saw on October 19. The Mexico vs Nigeria U-17 Final match will end in a 2-1 victory for Nigeria.
Mexico vs Nigeria U-17 Television Schedule
The Mexico vs Nigeria World Cup Final match will be televised this Friday, November 8, 2013 on Unimas & ESPN 3 at 8:00 AM Pacific.
Mexico vs Nigeria Highlights
The Mexico vs Nigeria World Cup Final highlights will be available on FutnSoccer soon after the end of the match.