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FIFA U-17 World Cup Enters Quarters

Things are heating up in Nigeria as the U-17 World Cup enters the quarter finals stage with games being played on the 8th and 9th of November. Champions Nigeria who are the sole remaining African representatives in the tournament will be looking to retain the title they won in 2007 and add on to the one that their fellow compatriots Ghana won in the u-20 world cup earlier last month.

Africa could be in for another celebration if  Nigeria lift the trophy. However, they must prevail against a Korean side who beat an amazing Mexico 5-3 on penalties. Nigeria who thrashed New Zealand 5-0 in the round of 16 will be looking to draw from some of that magic when they face the Koreans.

The big guns Brazil, Argentina and Mexico have all be eliminated thereby leaving an open field to vie for the chance to be  crowned World champions. However, the likes of Uruguay, Colombia ( who by the way eliminated Argentina) Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Italy are all teams that can give any side a good for their money.

Tonight’s Match will therefore be a must win for Nigeria. Like i have always said, if  these two tournaments are anything to go by, then South Africa 2010 will definitely be one of the best ever for African nations. Why? Simple. There is the home advantage factor to consider. I never really believed that playing at home could make a difference until i watched the Confederations cup.

Everyone had written off South Africa as a team that was only going to humiliate themselves. However, no one expected them to provide such a spirited fight against some of the best teams in the world. Many people argued and said that it was the persistent blaring of the vuvuzelas that was actually distracting the players concentration although i categorically disagree.

Nonetheless South Africa and Egypt made the continent proud. The real deal will be happening next year and i am very confident of  our representatives pulling a shocker. This weekend will be the final round of fixtures in the World/African cup qualifiers  and Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Cameroon will all be looking to win their matches so that they can join Ghana, Ivory coast and South Africa in the biggest sporting event in the planet.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Solomon Bashy November 9, 2009, 2:27 pm

    Kennedy Kalaile, please note that the current defending champion of the FIFA U-17 world cup is Nigeria, Apparently the host country for the same on-going tournament. Nonetheless i share in your hope that this time, Africa wins all the cup from the tournaments hosted on the African soil.

  • Kennedy Kalaile November 9, 2009, 9:00 am

    True, things are definitely heating up but I have to correct you that the current holders are Argentina and not Nigeria. The tournament is currently on the balance with each and every team being potential finalists. However, South African football has declined since the 2002 world cup and and its really difficult to see them achieve anything from this tournament any time soon. The tournament has been overshadowed by the recently concluded under 21 world cup. We hope Africa wins all the world cups this time round with Ghana having set the precedent. Africa’s time is not coming, it actually here!

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