Lille Metropole of France striker, Victor Osimhen and Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze are holding aloft fond memories of how they played key parts in a 3-0 victory for Nigeria against Brazil at Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which they believe will boost their confidence for Sunday’s friendly against The Samba Nation at full senior level, megasportsarena.com reports.
The date was November 1, 2015 at Viña del Mar in the north of Chile, with Osimhen netting the Golden Eaglets’ first goal in the 29th minute of the quarter-finals’ clash that showed in clear light that the Nigerian kids were on course to defend the title they won two years earlier at UAE 2013.
Osimhen had earlier scored a hat-trick in the 6-0 demolition of Australia at same venue, while Chukwueze snatched Nigeria’s last goal in that encounter, such that both lads were again talk of the town heading into the fixture with Brazil, in a last-eight clash that drew a crowd of 5,880 to Estadio Sausalito, with a referee from Slovenia, Matej Jug in charge of proceedings.
Back then, Osimhen struck his eighth goal in five games, before Kingsley Michael and Udochukwu Anumudu added one each, and the Eaglets played the rest of the game out at a canter to reach the semi-finals, despite Brazil looking very bright in the opening stages.
They put some pressure on Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Akpan Udoh, but ended up hitting opportunities off target, with Rogerio and Evander two of the culprits, such that Le Seleção were made to rue those missed chances when the lethal Osimhen extended his lead at the top of the goals’ chart.
Eaglets’ in-form defender, John Lazarus crossed from the right and Osimhen headed the ball in, via a deflection off Éder Militão, who is dramatically now in the current Brazilian senior squad that will battle Nigeria’s Eagles on Sunday in Singapore.
Moments later, Nigeria doubled their lead, as Osimhen hooked a bouncing ball over his shoulder, with Michael following in, it ricocheted off the turf and past the Brazilian No1, Juliano, who was floored by another bounce just four minutes later, when Anumudu hit a left-footed drive from distance and past the shot-stopper, who was visibly unhappy at not keeping the shot out.
The second period saw few clear-cut opportunities, with Funsho Bamgboye and Evander going closest for either side but it was a mere procession for the Eaglets to take a step closer to the historic feat of retaining the title, with Osimhen again on song in the semi-final 4-2 win against Mexico, notching home an 83rd minute penalty, and a 56th minute opening goal, his tenth of the competition, in the 2-0 spanking of fellow-Africans, Mali in the grand finale.
The only Brazilian kid back then that has grown into the senior ranks and is listed for Sunday’s friendly in Singapore is Real Madrid of Spain defender, Militão, who was then on the cards of Sao Paulo FC in the domestic league.
Memories of Chile 2015 will surely make Militão aim to get his own pound of flesh on Osimhen and Chukwueze, who are the only graduates of that glorious Eaglets’ squad now in the Eagles’ squad that is seeking a historic victory against The Samba Boys on Sunday.
While Osimhen and Chukwueze look good to start, Militão will have to convince Brazil’s coach, Tite to give him the nod to make his mark at Singapore National Stadium , as he is yet to stamp his authority in Madrid.
Militão is still battling to settle down, after arriving from FC Porto of Portugal on March 14, in a six-year deal (effective from 1 July 2019) worth €50m, but it was not until September 14 that he got his debut, as substitute in a 3–2 victory over Levante.
The reverse is the case for Osimhen and Chukwueze, who are making waves with their respective clubs in the current campaign, such that the Villarreal winger, who is starring in the same La Liga with Militão, believes the edge they have over their Chile 2015 rival will again materialize during Sunday’s epic clash between both football crazy nations.
Chukwueze declared: “It’s going to be a tough game but everybody would see what we are made of when we play against Brazil. That’s a big game to look forward to in Singapore and I think it’s going to be a tough match. I don’t know how it’s going to be but I’m confident we are going to make our country proud.
“Everybody is (looking) up to this game. I believe this set of Super Eagles is very good; it’s not just that we are good but we are committed. We have the fighting spirit to do everything possible to remain one of the best teams in the world and I think we are going to do well against Brazil.”