Golden Eaglets beat Brazil 3-0, qualify for semifinal
Stranded Nigerian delegation lament delay in getting Chile visas
Defending champions, Nigeria, yesterday proved too much for Brazil in the first quarterfinals of the on-going FIFA U-17 World Cup, beating the Samba Boys 3-0 yesterday in Vina del Mar, Chile.
Three goals from Victor Osimhen, his eighth goal in five games, Kingsley Michael and Udochukwu Anumudu was all the Nigerians needed to cruise into Thursday semifinals against either Mexico or Ecuador.
Brazil had looked bright in the opening stages, but goalkeeper Akpan Udoh was in fine form to keep them at bay.
However, midway into the first half, the Nigerians took control of the proceedings, with Osimhen, John Lazarus, Kelechi Nwakali, Funsho Bamgboye and Chgukwueze running rings round the hapless South Americans.
Osimhen gave Nigeria the lead when he nodded in a John Lazarus’ cross. A few minutes later, it was 2-0 courtesy of a Michael goal, while Anumudu hit a left-footed drive from distance to round off the scoring.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) team to the on-going FIFA U-17 World Cup is still stranded in Abuja following its inability to get entry visas to Chile at the South American country’s embassy in Ghana.
The Golden Eaglets defeated Brazil 3-0 in one of the quarterfinal games yesterday without some of the team’s key staff.
Nigerians are forced to go to Ghana for entry visas to Chile because the country has no mission in Nigeria. And according to sources at the NFF headquarters in Abuja, it is not certain when the Nigerian delegation, which was originally scheduled to leave for Chile before the Golden Eaglets’ first game against the United States at the on-going U-17 World Cup, will leave for the competition.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, said yesterday, “we have done everything possible to make the embassy understand the importance of they delegation being in Chile, but it seems they are not ready to listen to anybody.
“We were told that they have to get clearance from their country first before issuing any visas to us and we accepted because we thought it would take a few days, but here we are still waiting for the documents.
“Our protocol official has been in Ghana for more than two weeks and yet he has not achieved anything. The worst is that because the embassy is in Ghana, there is not much we can do to make them act quickly on the visas.”
The official, who disclosed that the delegation has submitted all the documents required by the Chilean mission in Ghana, including criminal clearance certificates of every member of the delegation, said the NFF has been getting distress calls from the Nigerian camp in Chile owing to the absence of some key staff in the team’s camp.
“We just hope the government can interfere in the issue to enable us join the team in Chile. It is important because apart from the clerical staff, we also have journalists, key technical officials and board members of our federation, who have crucial roles to play in the Golden Eaglets’ quest to retain the trophy,” the source added.