Buhari Salutes Golden Eaglets on Victory over Ecuador

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Golden Eaglets

FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP

Femi Solaja

President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded the performance of the Golden Eaglets in their second match of the ongoing FIFA Under-17 World Cup finals in Brazil on Tuesday.

Golden Eaglets won the match with two late goals to leave the final scoreline at 3-2 in top of the table clash against Ecuador. The feat guaranteed Nigeria’s qualification into the knock out phase with a game to spare in the.

President Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina in Abuja yesterday said: “The fact that the youngsters never gave up, and turned the table against their opponents, is a lesson in persistence and resilience.”

The president recommended the can-do spirit displayed by the young boys to Nigerians, urging them to display such in all areas of endeavor, and in national development.

While wishing the Eaglets well in their final group match against Australia, which may well be a formality, Buhari pledged government support to the boys as they strive to win the Under-17 World Cup yet again, thus confirming Nigeria’s position as a global power at the cadet level.

The win against the South Americans leave Nigeria clear at the top of the Group B table and will face Australia tomorrow in the final match of the phase.

Aside the win on Tuesday, another talking point of the match was the first hat trick of the on going tournament by match hero, Ibrahim Said,

Not only has Said become the leading scorer at Brazil 2019, he has put Nigeria ahead of other countries regarding the number of hat trick stars in the history of the tournament.

He is the sixth Nigerian to score three goals or more in a match after that of Phillip Osondu in a 3-2 defeat of Bolivia on July 14, 1987 at Jeux Canada Games Stadium, Saint John’s New Foundland in Canada.

That of Nwankwo Kanu followed 26 years ago when the lanky footballer scored three of the goals in the 8-0 defeat of Canada on August 22, 1993 in Japan.

Femi Opabunmi also scored three goals in a 5-1 defeat of Australia on March 23, 2001 in Trinidad & Tobago.

The fourth Nigerian to score a hat trick in the competition was Kelechi Iheanacho who netted four times against Mexico in 2013.

He is one of the only three players to have scored four goals in an U17 World Cup match.

The other two are David of Spain in a match against New Zealand in 1997 and Colombia’s Carlos Hidalgo in the match against Finland in 2003.

Victor Osimhen became Nigeria’s fifth player to score a hat trick when he found the net three times in a 6-0 defeat of Australia in a Round of 16 match in 2015.

Nigerian Hat Trick Scorers at U17 World Cup

1. Phillip Osondu – 3 goals; Nigeria 3-2 Bolivia; July 14, 1987

2. Nwankwo Kanu – 3 goals; Nigeria 8-0 Canada; Aug 22, 1993

3. Femi Opabunmi – 3 goals; Nigeria 5-1 Australia; Sep 23, 2001

4. Kelechi Iheanacho – 4 goals; Nigeria 6-1 Mexico; Oct 19, 2013

5. Victor Osimhen – 3 goals; Nigeria 6-0AustraliaOct 28, 2015

6. Ibrahim Said – 3 goals; Nigeria 3-2 Ecuador; Oct. 29, 2019