Sep
14
2007
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Nigeria – the new world champions Under-17 in Seoul’s World Cup stadium.

The hero was the Nigerian goalkeeper Oladele Ajiboye, saving two Spanish penalties.

Spain appeared inhibited by the absence of their best player, Bojan Krkic of Barcelona, who was suspended after receiving two yellow cards in the semi-final defeat of Ghana.

It was Nigeria’s third victory at this level after successes in China in 1985 and Japan in 1993.

Despite their victory, Nigeria’s players did not sweep the board in the individual player awards. Germany captain Toni Kroos, who led his side to victory over Ghana in the third-place play-off, received the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player, ahead of Nigeria’s Macauley Chrisantus, who won the Silver Ball, and Bronze Ball-winner Bojan.

Chrisantus also collected the Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer, with seven goals, ahead of Ghana’s Ransford Osei (six) and Kroos (five).

The Final defeat was a bitter experience for Spain coach Santisteban, who retired as his country’s youth supremo after the match. Santisteban, 70, guided Spain to six victories in the European Under-17 championship, but defeat to Nigeria was the third time his side had finished as runners-up in the world Under-17 championship.