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.