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Nigeria U-17 squad of 2007: A tribute

Nigeria last won the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in 2007. That squad went on to win the World Cup in Korea. Following Nigeria`s 16+ years wait for another AFCON title, SPORTSRATION pays tribute to this set.


Togo hosted the 2007 U-17 AFCON then known as the Africa U-17 Championship. Nigeria`s Golden Eaglets were drawn alongside Ghana, Burkina Faso and Eritrea in group B.

Nigeria ruthlessly smashed Eritrea 8-0 in their first group game before scraping out a 1-2 win over Burkina Faso before a majestic finish with a 2-0 win over Ghana to top group B.

For a 8-team Championship, the Eaglets proceeded to the semi-final where they defeated Tunisia 2-0 before breaking the hearts of Togolese fans with a 0-1 win on March 27, 2007 to be crowned champions of Africa at U-17 level for a second time.


16-years have passed on since Nigeria last won the U_17 AFCON title. A 2-1 loss to Burkina Faso in the quater-final of the 2023 edition means the wait will continue.


Under the tutelage of Late Yemi Tella, the 2007 Golden Eaglets set went on to rule the World at the Korea 2007 U-17 World Cup.

A tutor at the Nigeria Institute of Sports, Late Coach Yemi Tella got his team playing tiki-taka football, to the delight of soccer fans around the World.

Skipper Lukman Haruna dazzled in midfield while Macaulay Chrisantus banged goals for fun in a squad that also featured the likes of Kingsley Udoh, King Osanga, Dele Ajiboye, Yakubu Alfa, Kabiru Akinsola, Rabiu Ibrahim etc.

Nigeria receiving the FIFA U-17 World Cup title from then FIFA President Sepp Blatter
Nigeria receiving the FIFA U-17 World Cup title from then FIFA President Sepp Blatter

At the World Cup in Korea, Nigeria entertained the World, scoring 16-goals on their way to winning a third FIFA U-17 World Cup title.

Nigeria defeated France, Japan and Haiti to finish top of group D.

Yemi Tella and his Eaglets took out Colombia 2-1 in the round of 16 before knocking out Argentina 2-0 in the quater-final.

Against Germany in the semi-final, a fantastic performance for a 3-1 score took Nigeria past a German team which included current Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos.

Spain were the last hurdle and after a hard-fought 0-0 score, penalty shoot-outs were required to determine the winner.

Goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye was perfect and so Spain recorded no success from three kicks to lose 3-0 to Nigeria on penalties.


In 2013 and 2015, Nigeria won the FIFA U-17 World Cup but no set is yet to taste success at the continental stage since 2007.

With the Nduka Ugbade led 2023 U-17 set failing to go past the last-8 in Algeria following a shock defeat to Burkina Faso on May 11, 2023, the 2007 Eaglets will stay on in the History book as the last Nigeria U-17 Kings of Africa.

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