Chelsea's 14-year-old Nigerian through to FIFA Under-17 World Cup final - at team-mates expense

Nigeria have defeated Sweden 3-0 in the semi-final of the tournament, so Ali Suljic and Isak Ssewankambo return home while Habib Makanjuola dreams big!

Today was the day in which Chelsea played Chelsea in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup semi-final - and we discovered which of Chelsea’s young talents currently out in the United Arab Emirates representing their country would get the chance to earn a medal worn by some of the more illustrious names in the game over the years.

Sweden took on Nigeria this evening, with Ali Suljic and Isak Ssewankambo taking on Chelsea team-mate Habib Makanjuola in the process.

Unfortunately, none of the trio managed to feature in the game. Ssewankambo was injured, while Ali Suljic lost his place in team earlier in the tournament.

Makanjuola has only featured briefly in the opening game so far - but he is only 14-years-old so his mere presence in the match squad still amazes me.

But it was still something of a momentous occasion, and worth checking out who made it into the final.

Well it is the Nigerian starlet who was celebrating, as the tournament favourites made good on their promise and made it to the final - where they will take on Mexico.

The last time these two met was in the Group Stage, where Suljic scored in a 3-3 draw. This time however the Golden Eaglets were just as ruthless in attack but also doubled up their defensive efforts - and ran out 3-0 winners courtesy of Taiwo Awoniyi, Samuel Okon and Chidera Ezeh.

The final is to be held at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday afternoon, where Nigeria will hope to win their fourth title and become the most successful team in this competition outright, but Mexico are reigning champions so must be respected.

Makanjuola has not been featuring as much as we would have hoped, but there is every chance he could be thrown on if a stubborn Mexican defence holds off for long enough. He is that creative little spark, a little bit of a wild-card that teams like to have on the bench.

If Nigeria find themselves in trouble, you might just get to see Makanjuola in action for the first, but not the last time, by checking out the final on Friday.

When he could become a World Champion.

image: © governmentza

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