FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015™
October 17 - November 08

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015™

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015™

Final Tournament Standing

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Nigeria head African party in Chile

Nigeria becoming the first country to win the title for a fifth time was the biggest story of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015, but by no means the only one. For example, the presence of Mali in the final made for just the second occasion on which two teams from the same continent have contested the deciding match. As such, ‘Una fiesta un nuestra cancha’ (a party on our pitch), as the slogan Chile used to welcome the world put it, was ultimately celebrated to a distinctly African beat.

"It's very important for African football and incredible that something like this has only happened once before," said Orji Okwonkwo after the semi-final win over Mexico, an athletic and pacy, yet also well-organised and incisive performance that epitomised Nigeria's run to glory.

"Our aim was to defend the trophy. We approached each game with hard work and seriousness. Any team that came to Chile worked for it," stressed Nigeria captain and playmaker Kelechi Nwakali, the winner of the adidas Golden Ball. Another player who more than lived up to the team's nickname, the Golden Eaglets, was Victor Osimhen, who scooped the adidas Golden Boot with ten goals, a record tally for the event.

Surprise packages on the podium Despite going into tournament as African U-17 champions, and their counterparts having stormed to the last four of the FIFA U-20 World Cup just months earlier, Mali's exploits nevertheless caused a stir.

"It is the first time Mali have reached the final. We can be very proud," enthused their coach, Baye Ba, on the back of a campaign in which his side turned heads thanks to their combination of attacking flair, ruthlessness and defensive solidity. "Not many teams reach second place. Our goal is to have a senior team who can win, so we will continue our work. Everything is installed in our youth programmes so that we can reach another final in the future,"

There was another surprise on the last step of the podium. Belgium took bronze despite being the only of the semi-finalists who didn't win their group and being less fancied than other European participants, among whom France and Germany both shone before being knocked out in the Round of 16.

Red Devils coach Bob Browaeys was delighted with his team's success: "We've achieved something unique. We finished fourth at Mexico 1986 and the 2008 Olympics, so this is our first medal. It's an amazing moment for us."

Mexico among the other wave-makers Mexico justified their billing as contenders by impressing en route to the semi-finals for the third consecutive edition. El Tri may have fallen short in the end, but they certainly made a mark on the pitch, topping one of the toughest groups and playing their part in two of the most thrilling encounters: their semi against Nigeria and the play-off for third place against Belgium.

Other countries who caught the eye included Costa Rica, Ecuador and Croatia, who each advanced to the quarter-finals playing a decidedly different brand of football. Brazil were also beaten quarter-finalists, but bowed out after failing to hit the heights.

Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Korea DPR, meanwhile, earned themselves some credit by qualifying for the Round of 16, as did hosts Chile, who were cheered off the pitch despite being hammered by Mexico at this stage. On the other hand, England, Paraguay and Argentina all disappointed, failing to make it out of their group. It was a particularly sobering experience for La Albiceleste, who finished bottom of the pile for the first time at this level.

Players to watch While Nwakali and Osimhen claimed most of the plaudits and headlines for champions Nigeria, they were ably assisted by midfield livewires Samuel Chukwueze and Kingsley Michael. Goalkeeper Samuel Diarra and Aly Malle starred for Mali, taking home the adidas Golden Glove and Bronze Ball respectively, while Sidiki Maiga and Boubacar Traore also garnered rave reviews for the runners-up.

Belgium defender Wout Faes brought to mind David Luiz and not only due to his mop of curly hair, but for his assured performances and leadership. Dante Rigo proved equally influential for the Belgians in central midfield, an area of the pitch in which Mexican duo Pablo Lopez and Alan Cervantes showcased their skill and intelligence.

Besides Nwakali, there were several other playmakers who did the iconic No10 shirt justice. Chief among them were South Korea's Lee Seungwoo, Ecuador's Yeison Guerrero, Chile's Marcelo Allende, USA's Christian Pulisic, Croatia's Nikola Moro and France's Timothe Cognat. Other starlets who had tongues wagging were German striker Johannes Eggestein, the adidas Silver Boot winner, and his compatriot Felix Passlack, a winger; Ecuadorian full-back Pervis Estupinan; Mexican centre-half Francisco Venegas; French forward Nicolas Janvier and Brazilian midfield maestro Lincoln.

The legacy of Chile 2015 Two activities were carried out as part of FIFA's Legacy Programme to make the most of the buzz generated by the tournament. The first was a regional seminar for youth coaches in Vina del Mar, which brought together 24 tacticians from all over South America. The participants, who included household names such as Venezuelan Richard Paez, Uruguayan Fabian Coito and Peruvian Juan Jose Ore, split into different groups to analyse the games from Group A in a workshop that combined theoretical and practical approaches.

Later on during the competition, the facilities at the La Araucana Park sports complex, in the south-east of Santiago, played host to a Grassroots Festival. This event was attended by 240 boys and girls aged six to 12, drawn from 14 different clubs across Chile, as well as by 30 coaches, who ran exercises to cap off a training course organised in the capital to coincide with the big party.

MATCHES

Tournament News

VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08:  Victor Osimhen of Nigeria celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 final match between Mali and Nigeria at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08: Boubacar Traore of Mali reacts during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 final match between Mali and Nigeria at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08:  The trophy is pictured before the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 final match between Mali and Nigeria at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08: Funsho Bamgboye (R) of Nigeria is challenged by Amadou Haidara of Mali during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Final between Mali and Nigeria at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08:  Dennis van Vaerenberg #9 of Belgium scores the opening goal during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 third place play off match between Belgium and Mexico at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08: Christophe Janssens (L) of Belgium and Diego Cortes of Mexico battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 third place play off match between Belgium and Mexico at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08: Head coach Bob Browaeys of Belgium reacts during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Third Place Play-Off match between Belgium and Mexico at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08: Dante Vanzeir (R) of Belgium and Ulises Torres of Mexico battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 third place play off match between Belgium and Mexico at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - OCTOBER 20:  Escort kids are seen before the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 group A match between USA and Croatia at Estadio Sausalito on October 20, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - OCTOBER 20:  Escort kids and volunteers line up for a photo the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 group A match between USA and Croatia at Estadio Sausalito on October 20, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - OCTOBER 20:  Escort kids and volunteers line up for a photo the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 group A match between USA and Croatia at Estadio Sausalito on October 20, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - OCTOBER 23:  Volunteers are seen during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 group B match between Guinea and Brazil at Estadio Sausalito on October 23, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05: Diego Cortes (L) of Mexico is challenged by Samuel Chukwueze of Nigeria during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Semi Final match between Mexico and Nigeria at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 5, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05:  Kevin Magana (L) of Mexico celebrates his team's first goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Semi Final match between Mexico and Nigeria at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 5, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05: Kevin Magana (C) of Mexico celebrates his team's first goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Semi Final match between Mexico and Nigeria at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 5, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05: Players wait in the tunnel prior to the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Semi Final match between Mexico and Nigeria at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 5, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LA SERENA, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05:  Bob Browaeys (L), head coach of Belgium shake hands with Baye Ba, head coach of Mali before the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 semi final match between Mali and Belgium at Estadio La Portada on November 5, 2015 in La Serena, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LA SERENA, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05:  Handshake of peace between of Mali and Belgium before the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 semi final match between Mali and Belgium at Estadio La Portada on November 5, 2015 in La Serena, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LA SERENA, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05: Chato (R) of Mali and Jorn Vankamp #19 of Belgium head for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 semi final match between Mali and Belgium at Estadio La Portada on November 5, 2015 in La Serena, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LA SERENA, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05: Chato (R) of Mali and Orel Mangala of Belgium battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 semi final match between Mali and Belgium at Estadio La Portada on November 5, 2015 in La Serena, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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COQUIMBO, CHILE - NOVEMBER 02:  Claudio Zamudio #10 of Mexico celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 quarter final match between Ecuador and Mexico at Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoroso on November 2, 2015 in Coquimbo, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Tournaments

Claudio Zamudio (Mexico - Chile 2015)


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CHIGUAYANTE, CHILE - NOVEMBER 03:  Head coach Emmanuel Amuneke talks to the players during a Nigeria training session during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 at Estadio Municipal on November 3, 2015 in Chiguayante, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Tournaments

Nigeria training session (Chile 2015)



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CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 02:  Players of Belgium celebrate after the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Quarter Final match between Belgium and Costa Rica at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 2, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Tournaments

Chile 2015, in black and white



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CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 02: Jorn Vancamp (L) of Belgium is challenged by Daniel Villegas of Costa Rica during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Quarter Final match between belgium and Costa Rica at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 2, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Tournaments

Belgium 1-0 Costa Rica (Chile 2015)



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COQUIMBO, CHILE - NOVEMBER 02:  Pervis Estupinan #17 of Ecuador and Kevin Lara of Mexico battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 quarter final match between Ecuador and Mexico at Estadio Francisco Sanchez Rumoroso on November 2, 2015 in Coquimbo, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Mexico

Ecuador 0-2 Mexico (Chile 2015)



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CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05: Diego Cortes #2 of Mexico scores his team's second goal against goalkeeper Akpan Udoh of Nigeria during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Semi Final match between Mexico and Nigeria at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 5, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile. (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

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COQUIMBO, CHILE - OCTOBER 21: A general view of the city of Coquimbo on October 21, 2015 in Coquimbo, Chile. (Photo by Robert Cianflone - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

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VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08:  Victor Osimhen of Nigeria is scoring the opening goal during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 final match between Mali and Nigeria at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

Mali 0-2 Nigeria

9 Nov 2015

VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - NOVEMBER 08: Dennis van Vaerenbergh of Belgium scores his team's first goal against goalkeeper Abraham Romero of Mexico during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Third Place Play-Off match between Belgium and Mexico at Estadio Sausalito on November 8, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

Belgium 3-2 Mexico

8 Nov 2015

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Boubacar Traore #11 of Mali celebrates his goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 semi final match between Mali and Belgium at Estadio La Portada on November 5, 2015 in La Serena, Chile. (Photo by Tom Dulat - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images).

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

U-17 FIFA World Cup FINAL ... Are you ready?


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LA SERENA, CHILE - NOVEMBER 05: Sekou Koita (C) of Mali and Laurent Lemoine #14 and Wout Faes #4 of Belgium battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 semi final match between Mali and Belgium at Estadio La Portada on November 5, 2015 in La Serena, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

Mali 3-1 Belgium



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SANTIAGO, CHILE - OCTOBER 30: Kids line up after the FIFA Grassroot Festival at Parque Deportivo de la Caja.

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

Chile 2015: Way more than just a tournament



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CONCEPCION, CHILE - OCTOBER 29:  Juan Nazareno of Ecuador scores his team's fourth goal against goalkeeper Aleksandr Maksimenko of Russia during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Round of 16 match between Russia and Ecuador at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on October 29, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

Juan Nazareno (ECU) - RUS 1-4 ECU



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VINA DEL MAR, CHILE - OCTOBER 23:  Gonzalo Jara of Chile celebrates after scoring the 3rd goal during the FIFA U-17 Men's World Cup 2015 group A match between USA and Chile at Estadio Sausalito on October 23, 2015 in Vina del Mar, Chile.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

Gonzalo Jara (CHI) - USA 1-3 CHI



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CONCEPCION, CHILE - NOVEMBER 02: Dante Rigo of Belgium celebrates his team's first goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 Quarter Final match between belgium and Costa Rica at Estadio Municipal de Concepcion on November 2, 2015 in Concepcion, Chile.  (Photo by Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015

Dante Rigo (BEL) - BEL 1-0 RUS