El Tri will successfully defend its U-17 World Cup title with a win against Nigeria Friday, but the Super Eagles won't be an easy opponent.
Mexico U-17 coach Raul Gutierrez believes his side has the answer to Nigeria’s threat ahead of Friday's World Cup final, despite the Super Eagles demolishing El Tri 6-1 in the group stage of the competition.
“Without doubt Nigeria has demonstrated the strength it has as a team, but I believe Mexico has shown good things and we are going to implement those to solve the problem of Nigeria,” said Gutierrez in the pregame press conference.
Gutierrez, the same coach who guided Mexico’s U-17s to victory in the World Cup two years ago, has been especially pleased at how his squad has bounced back from that ugly defeat against Nigeria.
“It’s very simple, I have great players, players that are committed to an idea, players that understood what happened and overcame it,” said Gutierrez. “We have earned this place in the final with a solidness and we are very proud of the reaction of the players.”
Mexico overcame world powers Italy, Brazil and Argentina in the knockout rounds to get to the final and El Tri captain Ulises Rivas certainly won’t be losing any sleep with nerves, indicating the team is ready for the Nigerian threat.
“The team is mentally strong, we know what we have to do tomorrow and so my teammates can be relaxed,” he said in the same press conference.