Samba boys begin in style

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Oct 2017 10:50:49


 

KOCHI,

A DOMINANT Brazil made a strong statement of their top title contender status with a 2-1 victory over Spain in a Group D marquee clash of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Saturday.
In a much-anticipated encounter in front of a sell-out crowd, Spain made a flying start and took the lead in the fifth minute through an own goal by Brazil defender Wesley, but soon lost the plot as the Brazilians turned the table on them.


Brazil, the overwhelming favourites of the packed stadium, took control of the match just after conceding the goal with far more possession and attacking. They scored through Lincoln (25th minute) and Paulinho (45+1).
The absence of Vinicius Junior was not felt as Brazil’s attacking trio of Lincoln, Paulinho and Brenner played better than their Spanish counterparts. Alan and Marcos Antonio gave the trio enough support.


Spain, who had five players from the famous La Masia academy and four from Real Madrid academy, were hit hard by the high humidity of Kochi while the Brazilians were able to cope with the situation as they had been in India for more than 10 days.
The fast-paced and open match between the champion sides of South America and Europe initially promised to be a goal fest but it was not to be.
The neat exchange of passes, swift movement in attack and counter-attack were all there to see, though.


Spain began the match brightly, pressing hard in the attacking third and drew the first blood in the fifth minute.
Ferran Torres got the better of his marker at the right flank and sent an inch-perfect low cross for Mohammed Moukhliss to send the ball in the direction of the post.
The last touch, however, was that of Wesley and an own goal was awarded against his name.


Spain dominated for a few minutes after the first goal but Brazil soon began to impose themselves on the match.
Paulinho drilled in a low shot in the 18th minute, which the Spain goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez deflected off his hands and Lincoln missed the target off the rebound.


It was a matter of time before Brazil restored parity as Paulinho, Lincoln and Brenner began to have clear looks at the Spain goal which fell in the 25th minute.
A brilliant grounded cross from the left by Brenner found Lincoln in the perfect position inside the box and he slotted the ball home in his second attempt.
Then, in the 34th minute, Spain defender Mateu Jaume was taken off due to dehydration and was replaced by Victor Perea Gomez.


Brazil took the lead in the first half injury time through Paulinho. Marcos Antonio’s brilliant lobbed pass found the forward in a perfect position to fire it in and make it 2-1 for the South American side.


Germany defeat Costa Rica 2-1
A LATE goal by substitute Noah Awuku lifted Germany to a 2-1 win over Costa Rica in their opening match of the FIFA U-17 WC on Saturday.
Germany were more organised in attack and dominated play in halves, creating quite a few scoring opportunities. The European heavyweights scored through Jan-Fiete Arp (21st minute) and Awuku (89th).
They could have won by a bigger margin had it not been for some erratic shots in front of the goal. Costa Rica, who defended for the major part of the game, pulled one back in the 64th minute through Andres Gomez.


Debutants Niger off to winning start, beat North Korea 1-0
DEBUTANTS Niger got their campaign off to a positive start as they eked out a 1-0 win over North Korea in a Group D match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Saturday.
Playing in their first-ever World Cup game, Salim Abdourahmane scored what turned out to be the winner, in the 59th minute, off an assist by Habibou Sofiane at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.


Iran beat Guinea to top Group C
IRAN overpowered 10-man Guinea in a Group C encounter to enjoy a splendid start to their campaign at the FIFA U-17 WC on Saturday.
Iran are now at the top of the group. They are on three points.


The Asians however, sit at the top of the group due to a better goal difference.
After a goalless opening half, Allahyar Sayyad gave Iran the lead in the 59th minute with a powerful shot from outside the Guinea penalty box.
Guinea suffered a blow in the 70th minute when defender Cherif Camara was sent off for a foul inside the penalty box.