Oceania Football Confederation > News > FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 > Cote d’Ivoire and Argentina top respective U-17

Cote d’Ivoire and Argentina top respective U-17

The U-17 Championships for both confederations were held this month, with the semi-finalists from both earning berths at the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates later this year.
The Cote d’Ivoire won their first-ever African U-17 Championship when they beat favourites Nigeria 5-4 on penalties during the final in the Moroccan city of Marrakech after the match ended 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes.
The victory was the second time the Baby Elephants had beaten the Golden Eaglets at the tournament, with Cote d’Ivoire earning a 1-0 victory over their rivals during the group stage of the competition.
In the final, the Ivorians fell behind to an early Nigerian goal scored by Izu Omego, but Bile Bedia equalised midway through the first half after running into space following a free-kick. After the 90 minutes ended 1-1, the winners had to be decided in a penalty shoot-out with the Ivorians prevailing as all five of their players converted their spot-kicks, with Dogbole Niangbo scoring the decisive fifth after goalkeeper Aboubakar Diabagate saved Chidiebere Nwakali’s penalty.
Cote d’Ivoire captain Franck Kessie said that it had been a struggle to get to the top for his side.
“Nothing is easy on earth. We had to stick together to move forward and achieve this for all the people of Cote d’Ivoire. I am proud because we had a hard time winning this trophy, but we dedicate this victory to all the Ivorians.”
The two countries will be joined by Tunisia and Morocco, who finished third and fourth respectively, as the continent’s representatives at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013.
In the South American qualifier Argentina completed a hat-trick of U-17 titles after a final 2-2 draw with eventual runners-up Venezuela saw the hosts secure their third championship crown.
Brazil finished third at ahead of Uruguay who secured the last of four South American tickets to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup will be hosted in the United Arab Emirates from 17 October to 8 November 2013.
For more on the world game go to www.fifa.com

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