Switzerland secured their first global football title at any level on Sunday with a 1-0 victory against hosts Nigeria in the FIFA U-17 World Cup final thanks to a 63rd-minute goal from Haris Seferovic.
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Switzerland secured their first global football title at any level on Sunday with victory in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Taking on hosts and holders Nigeria in the final in Abuja, Haris Seferovic headed the only goal in the 63rd minute to ensure Switzerland became only the third European winners of the trophy after the Soviet Union in 1987 and France 14 years later. UEFA European Under-17 Championship winners in 2002, Switzerland reached this year's semi-finals to earn a World Cup debut and defeated Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Colombia on their way to the decider in Nigeria.
'Dream a reality'
Switzerland coach Dany Ryser said: "We made a dream a reality, thanks to the fact that we were very well prepared to counter the speed of Nigeria. What the team has done is unthinkable. There are no words to describe what the squad has achieved."
Earlier on Sunday, Spain beat Colombia 1-0 with an Isco goal to earn third place, a team that did not score in the European finals in Germany finishing with the joint-highest World Cup tally of 18 along with Switzerland. Indeed, Borja González of Spain took the adidas Golden Shoe as top scorer with five goals, equal with Seferovic, Nigeria's Sani Emmanuel and Uruguay's Sebastián Gallegos but landed the award due to his one assist.
Turkey and Italy fell in the quarter-finals respectively to Colombia and Switzerland, whose victory against European champions Germany came in the round of 16. Of the European entrants, only the Netherlands did not reach the knockout phase, pipped to progress from the group stage by the United Arab Emirates by a single booking on a fair play tie-break.