Kochi: Niger made a winning debut at the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a hard fought 1-0 verdict over North Korea in a Group D clash here on Saturday.
It was a historic occasion for the teenagers from Niger as this is the first time that the African nation is competing in a football World Cup in any age group.
Niger are placed second in the group behind three-time winners Brazil. Both teams are on three points but the South America U-17 Championship winners are at the pole position due to a superior goal difference.
Salim Abdourahmane etched his name in the history of Nigerien football by coring the only goal of the match in the 59th minute.
The in-form Abdourahmane troubled the Korean defence throughout the contest and was unlucky not find the score more goals.
Winger Habibou Sofiane played a crucial role in Niger's goal with some good work down the right flank before finding an unmarked Abdourahmane inside the Korean penalty box with an accurate pass.
Abdourahmane was allowed plenty of time and space by the Korean defenders as he beat rival goalkeeper Sin Tae-Song with a cool finish.