Hosts and holders Nigeria head to the southern coastal city of Calabar on 9 November for their quarter-final clash against Korea Republic at the U.J. Esuene Stadium. The encounter is bound to be an intriguing clash of styles and football cultures when the fast-moving, team-oriented Koreans take on the improvisational and technically gifted Golden Eaglets.
The Nigerians head south from their home-base of Abuja flying high on the crest of a wave of confidence. After drubbing the outgunned New Zealanders to the tune of 5-0 in their round-of-16 clash in the capital, there may well be a dangerous intoxication creeping into the Eaglets' camp. They, however, are not world-beaters yet and will face a far sterner test when the lively Koreans come calling. Stanley Okoro has been pulling the strings brilliantly in midfield and Sani Emmanuel has proven himself the purest supersub of these finals, scoring a pair against the Kiwis off the bench for John Obuh's talented outfit.
The Koreans, by contrast, needed penalties to win their tense and tight last-16 contest with Mexico. After trailing for the entirety of the second half in Bauchi, only a last-gasp goal from Kim Dong Jin brought the scores level and forced extra-time. In the end, the Asians hit all of their penalties in the shootout to win the day by the skin of their teeth. Scoring goals has been a problem for the Taeguk Warriors, but if they can manage to turn their many chances and good possession-game into goals in Calabar, the fancied Nigerians may well find themselves in a heap of trouble.
The winner of the contest will take on the victorious side from the Spain-Uruguay contest on 9 November in Kaduna in the semi-finals.
11 - the number of consecutive matches Nigeria have gone unbeaten in U-17 world finals. Their last defeat came back in the 2003 edition in Finland, where an Eaglets side led by Jon Obi Mikel lost to Fernando Gago's Argentina in the group stages.
"We played Nigeria and we beat them a few months ago in Dubai. So we know them and we understand their way of playing. But things have changed since then, and the context is completely different in a World Cup, and playing against the host country. We'll enter the pitch with respect for our opponent, but confident in our strength and our chances to win." Jin Su Kim, Korea Republic captain
"I've had faith in my team from the start even with the problems we had at the beginning. If we keep our concentration as a team, there is no telling how far we can go. We showed in our last game against New Zealand that we can get the job done and also enjoy our football at the same time." John Obuh, Nigeria coach