The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will at 2100 hours trade tackles with The Magyars of Hungary in the opening match of the 2019 World U17 male football tournament at Estádio Olímpico, Goiania in Brazil, South America. That open match is the first in group B.
Hungary, coached by Sandor Presinger is coming to the party for the second time since 1985 when they reached the quarters at the maiden Kodak championship won by Nigeria whereas Nigeria has won the championship five times in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015; were runners up 1987, 2001, and 2009 with two quarters in 1989 and 1995.
The second group B match at midnight Nigerian time will be between six times Quarter-finalist, Australia and two times quarter –finalists, Ecuador.
Australia known as the Joeys coached by Trevor Morgan made the quarters in 1985, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 2001 with a best Runners-up performance in 1999 as well as two Round 16 appearances in 2011 and 2015. Ecuador (La Tri) now coached by Javier Rodriguez made the quarters in 1995, 2015 and round of 16 in 2011.
Hosts country, Brazil will parade the Selecao (The Selection) at their 17th appearance and as three times champion in 1997, 1999, and 2003; twice Runners-up in 1995 and 2005; twice Bronze medalists in 1985 and 2017 and once 4th place holder in 2011. They were five times quarter finalists in 1989, 1991, 2001, 2013 and 2015. Brazil will meet Canada at Estadio Bezerrão, BRASILIA also at 2100 hours for a Group A match.
Canada has never gone past the group stages in all their six appearances of 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2011 and 2013. Canada’s heaviest defeats ever are not more than four goals to nil in a single match and only by three teams, Mexico in 1999, Nigeria in 1989 and Cuba in 1988.
Debutantes Angola versus Australia is at midnight for the second Group A match. New Zealand, Nicknamed, Young All Whites are appearing for the 9th time with their Head coach, Jose Figueira and Captain: Campbell Strong. They have won their continental championships 8 times (won in the last 7 editions) and were Runners-up six times. In the World Cup, New Zealand made R16 thrice-2009 in Nigeria; 2011and 2015.
Angola broke through for the first time beating Nigeria in the 2018 Continental Loser’s match 2-1. At the continental level, they never went past group stage hence their non-appearance at the global level. ANGOLA nicknamed Palanquinhas has her head coach: Pedro Goncalves in the driving seat.
- ENIOLA OLATUNJI.