8th November, 2013
The target of Mexico’s U-17 team in today’s final of the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in UAE is to avenge the 6-1 disgrace they suffered in the hands of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets in their first group match on 19 October.
This was the tall order given to the team by their coach, Raul Gutierrez and the players are going into this match with the mandate to win the crucial tie.
One of the players, Marco Antonio Granados, said: “We haven’t won anything yet. We’ve still got one step to go,” as he explained to FIFA.com.
With the clock ticking to the final against Nigeria in Abu Dhabi, restraint is the name of the game for the in-form Mexicans, as Granados underlined: “We’re happy but we haven’t really done anything yet. We’ve still got to take that last big step. We know we have to stay focused and remain confident in ourselves.
“I wanted Nigeria to make it to the final because we’ve got a score to settle from that first game. We’ll be going out there to win.”
To the coach, Gutierrez, “Today’s game will be very difficult but it’s a completely different game to the game we play. They are two different games, the scenario is different and you have to play different. No doubt that Nigeria has shown potential as a team, but I believe that Mexico has shown good things and go on to attach much to those great things that Mexico has shown to solve the problem of Nigeria”
Nigerian team, however, are not mindful that they should not be complacent against a wounded Mexican team as history have taught them a good lesson when in 2001 Trinidad & Tobago FIFA U-17 World Cup, Nigeria beat France 2-1 in the group stage of that tournament, but France turned the table against them in the final which they lost 0-3.
“Mexico would be looking for revenge but we are going to a win this match because we want to set the record as the best team in the world at this level. We respect Mexico for what they have been able to do at this World Cup but our prayer is that God will crown our efforts,” said Coach Manu Garba of Nigeria.