Nigeria U17-Iran U17 Preview: Eaglets eye quarter-final ticket against the Persians

Ali Doustimehr and his boys hunt for for a rare victory over the high flying Golden Eaglets for a place in their first ever quarter final in the Fifa U17 World Cup



Muhammed, Bello,  Okon
Nwakali, Idowu, Ezeh, Alfa, Yahaya
  Iheanacho , Awoniyi


Hashemi, Haghzadeh, Hosseini,  Jafari
Seyyedi, Karimi, Ezatolahi, Hazami
Bazaj, Mazloum

Nigeria launch a bid for a place in the last eight of the 15th Fifa U17 World Cup against Iran billed for the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain – a venue now seen as ‘slaughter slab’ for the enterprising Africans.

Yousef Seyyedi’s 36th minute strike against Austria in their last group outing proved to be the magic Ali Doustimehr’s side needed to proceed to the last 16 of the championship after a sluggish start to the competition against Argentina and Canada.

Garba Manu’s boys on their own part began their campaign on a terrific note by spanking current cup holders, Mexico 6-1 before teaching Iraq a hard lesson to top Group F after a hard earned 3-3 draw against Sweden in their second game.

Nigeria are outstanding favorites to cruise into the next round going by their impressive run so far (scoring 14 goals in three games) but the Persians are expected to put up a brave showing going by their enviable defensive record so far in the competition (conceding just two goals in three games).

Though this tie will be the first between both sides in the history of the championship, the Persians know what to expect against the Eaglets having emerged victorious against another African side, Gambia 2-0 at the 2009 edition staged in Nigeria.

Injured Isaac Success will definitely not be on parade when his colleagues file out as they continue their quest for a record fourth crown, Manu will rely on goals from Musa Yahaya, Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi to secure passage to the next round.

One good omen for Nigeria will be the appointment of Brazilian referee, Heber Roberto Lopes to handle this cracker. It will be recalled that he was in charge when Nigeria defeated Australia 2-1 at the 2003 edition of the Fifa U17 World Cup held in Finland. Should the Eaglets emerge victorious , they will face the winner between Uruguay and Slovakia in what promises to be another explosive match up.