A stunning attacking display from Nigeria’s Under 17’s last night saw them brush aside New Zealand 5-0 and fly through to the quarter finals of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup. The hosts will now face two time Asian champions South Korean on Monday, but the performances of one individual against the Pacific islanders will leave the South Korean coaches with some important tactical strategies to work on over the weekend.
The player in question was Heartland’s Stanley Okoro. The support striker delivered an inspired display in Abuja – granted the New Zealanders were guilty of the type of ball watching you would expect from tennis fans at Wimbledon – but Okoro capitalised on that in devastating fashion as he pulled the back four all over the field and provided precise defence-splitting passes to strike partner Edafe Egbedi. A just 16 its would be unfair to predict how he will develop, but their is certainly talent their for his club side Heartland to nurture.
I’m sure Heartland could do with him this Saturday when they face TP Mazembe in the second leg of the African Champions League Final in Congo; they go into the game holding a slender 2-1 home win. For the time being though he will be staying in Nigeria, and Nigerian fans will be hoping for much of the same from him against South Korea.