On Sunday 2 September at the Cheonan Sports Complex, there will be a treat in store for all football fans when Argentina and Nigeria do battle for a semi-final spot. The Africans have been in awesome form throughout the tournament and will be looking to continue their successful run.
After their older counterparts won the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007, Argentina's U-17s will be aiming for similar success. Standing in their way, however, are Nigeria, who have already won two FIFA U-17 World Cups, are current African champions and have yet to drop a point here in Korea. The stage is set for a battle royal.
Both teams have a full squad to choose from for this quarter-final. Nigeria's Laide Okanlawon, Kabiru Akinsola and Lukman Haruna are all walking a tightrope, however, since another yellow card would see them suspended should they reach the semi-final.
This will be the fourth time that Argentina and Nigeria face off at a FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the spoils have been shared thus far. In 1989, the teams played out a goalless draw, in 1993 Nigeria ran out 4-0 winners while Argentina got their own back with a 1-0 win in 2003. The Africans are the only team in the competition to have won every game so far, and in five-goal striker Macauley Chrisantus, they have the tournament's leading scorer.
"We're happy to have reached the quarter-final but we still need to change a few things and be a little less pedestrian in our play. We will have to be on top of our game physically since Nigeria's game is based on strength. It will be a totally different match to the ones we've played up until now, and that's what we're preparing for." Miguel Tojo, Argentina coach
"We only managed two goals against Colombia, but we once again showed how strong we are. Against Argentina, it will be a totally different match, but with God's help we'll be hoping for the same result." Yemi Tella, Nigeria coach