Nigeria are the new world Under-17 champions after triumphing over Spain in a penalty shoot-out in Seoul’s World Cup stadium.
Nigerian goalkeeper Oladele Ajiboye was the hero, saving two Spanish penalties after the Final had ended goalless after extra time.
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.