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|After 4 Triumphs, Which Is The Best Nigerian Under 17 Team Ever? by micfoley: 1:03pm On Nov 13, 2013|
As the euphoria of a 4th U17 World Cup win by the Golden Eaglets dies down, I ask soccer loving Nigerians to compare all four trophy winning teams.
I vaguely remember the 1985 team led by Nduka Ugbade with Jonathan Akpoborie in the team. Their triumph was totally unexpected from both within and outside Nigeria. I was too young to appreciate the matches then but I remember the FIFA technical team describing the Nigerian team as playing a 'robust brand of aggressive attacking football.' This was especially evident in the final against W/Germany whic Nigeria won 2-0.The team was coached by Sebastian Brodericks. Only few players graduated to play for the S/Eagles [Ugbade and Akpoborie inclusive] with varying degrees of success. Coach Brodericks took two other teams to the U17 World Cup. He never coached the S/Eagles
The Japan '93 team was coached by Fanny Amun and led by Wilson Oruma with Nwankwo Kanu as the Star of the team. The team posted very impressive results in the build up to the World Cup including a 5-1 demolition of Algeria away from home.. Right from the beginning of the World Cup, most Nigerians expected the team to win the trophy and we were not disappointed. Before the final against Ghana , Kanu and Oruma were tied on 5 goals each and were in contention for the golden boot. Oruma scored the first goal on the way to a hard fought 2-0 win and clinched the golden boot. Many of these went on to play for the gold winning Atlanta 96 team as well as the S/Eagles . Notable players in this team include Kanu, Oruma, Celestine Babayaro,Karibe Ojigwe Mobi Oparaku and Peter Anosike . Fanny Amun went on to coach the national u20 team and much later was an assistant to Chief Onigbinde of the Super Eagles team to World Cup 2002.
The Korea 2007 team was coached by the late Yemi Tella and led by Haruna Lukman with Chrisantus Macauley as the lynchpin. After winning the African title, much was expected from the team and they went on to win the title by pipping a talented Spanish team in the final on penalties. Spain featured the deadly Bojan Krcic [formerly of Barcelona]. The midfield combination of Lukman and Rabiu Ibrahim was quite memorable as was the precise finishing of Macauley Golden boot winner]. Lukman and to a lesser extent Ibrahim have made appearnces from the S/Eagles.
Nigeria's all conquering 2013 team was coached by Manu Garba and led by Abubakar Mohammed. The star of the tournament is undoubtedly Kelechi Iheanacho [golden ball and silver boot]. The triumph of this side is remarkable given that it lost its best player early in the tournment- Isaac Success. Leading up to the tournament there were a lot of fears regarding the team's defence but it showed great resilience by not conceding a single goal during the knockout phase. The trademark goal celebrations [copied from Daniel Bryan WWE] got the crowds going and will long be remembered. It will be interesting to see how many of these boys break into the senior national teams and contribute to our future successes.
Based on subsequent impact in the senior cadre, I think the Japan 93 team is the best but based on team spiririt and collective play the 2013 team gets it.
What do you guys think?
|Re: After 4 Triumphs, Which Is The Best Nigerian Under 17 Team Ever? by marutimon: 1:17pm On Nov 13, 2013|
This team may be better individually than the Japan 93 team, but only time will tell.
Nonetheless the UAE 2013 was the most dominant U17 football ever at this tournament. Scoring 26 goals and losing just 5... Tremendous achievement underlined even more by the fact they played most of the tournament without the teams best players: Success Isaac.
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