Defending champions Nigeria and impressive outsiders Mali overcame Mexico and Belgium respectively in the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 to advance to the final.
In just their fourth appearance at this level, Les Aiglonnets have achieved a feat that no other Malian national side at any age category has ever managed: progressing to the showpiece match of a FIFA-run tournament.
They were made to work hard for their reward, however, as the Belgians went toe-to-toe with them for large portions of the match. Lady Luck also played her part in the Africans’ victory, when a seemingly harmless long ball bamboozled the Belgian goalkeeper and allowed them to take a 2-1 lead.
Nigeria, meanwhile, booked themselves a place in the final for an astonishing eighth time in 11 attempts. Like Mali, Emmanuel Amuneke’s men were tested to the limit by an entertaining Mexico team, and in the process both sides produced what is likely to be regarded as the game of the tournament to date.
Indeed, the clash had just about everything, including tit-for-tat scoring, six goals, three of which had fans leaping off their seats, and intense emotions until the very last kick of the ball.