By John Egbokhan reporting from UAE
As the zero hour approaches to tomorrow’s final match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup between the Golden Eaglets and El Tri in the beautiful National Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Mexico coach Raul Gutierrez has said that he knows the Nigerians better.
Gutierrez saw his side battered 6-0 by the Eaglets in their opening Group F game on October 19 in Al Ain and remarkably was still able to steer them to the final, where they come up against the Nigerians, who have grown into a goalscoring machine, netting 23 goals.
Speaking after seeing his boys beat Argentina 3-0 in the semifinal, the coach who declared himself a “happy” man even though he thought his team had played their best, said “I will always be proud of this team. Ivan (Ochoa) has always been a very consistent player, mature despite his age and that is reflected in every game he has played.”
Gutierrez was looking forward to playing Nigeria again in the final. He pointed out that three of the last four teams in the competition had all emerged from the same first-round group and thus had extra
knowledge of each other’s game.
“I now know the Nigerians better. The last time we played, I did not know them well but I have since learnt a lot from them and think that it is advantage for my team”, said the coach.