Author: Oluwasegun Noah, UAE

The Eaglets won the Fair Play Award for collecting less cautions in the competition while Nigeria’s outstanding No 10, Kelechi Iheanacho, won the tournament’s best player and the second top-scorer, having scored six goals and setting up a further seven en route to a fourth title for the West Africans

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The Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, made this possible as he augmented the bonus from the quarter-final stage to the final of the competition, when he agreed to double the amount paid by the cash-strapped Nigeria Football Federation, which has said it loud and clear that it is financially handicapped

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“We saw them play before our semi-final, and they looked strong against Argentina,” said the midfielder. “We’re hoping for a repeat performance [of the group match]. In football it’s difficult to make predictions but, God willing, we’ll beat them again. Mexico can make all the changes they want, but it will be the same team we faced in the group stage

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The Golden Eaglets had to draw on their rich experience to draw 3-3 against the Europeans in their preliminary Group F match in Al Ain penultimate week but Manu said it would be a different ball game when the two teams meet again in the semi-final at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai

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