FIFA U-17 World Cup: Brazil rally to upstage Germany, face England in semis
Brazil defeated Germany 2-1 and will face England in the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 22, 2017 23:53 IST
Lightning struck Germany twice and reduced to cinders every bit of good work they had done till the 71st minute of this FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter-final on Sunday. (Brazil vs Germany highlights)
Brazil left-back Weverson blasted a left-footer that rocked the horizontal before neutralising Jann-Fiete Arp’s 21st minute penalty. When Paulinho right-footer streaked into Germany’s goal in the 77th minute, Brazil were on their way to Guwahati to play England in the semi-final.
So efficiently were Germany containing Brazil that it seemed only long-rangers would fetch them goals. Well, so be it, they produced two.
BRAZIL’S FIRST TRY
Germany were slower off the blocks and by then Brazil had Alan’s shot thudding into the upright following some neat combination play between Lincoln and Brenner. That was eight minutes into the match and the 66,000-plus thronging the Salt Lake stadium may have thought this was just the start of the beautiful game.
But they found that though the stadium may have felt like a carnival with supporters for Brazil outnumbering those rooting for Germany by the margin a 2014 World Cup semi-final was decided, the road to the rival goal too was like it would be on the days of a festival. Choked with people, who were being marshalled from the back by Germany central defender Yann Bisseck.
Arp converts penalty
Their history books would have told them the wall in Germany had fallen way before they were born, but it didn’t feel that way for Brazil on Sunday night.
At the other end, John Yeboah and Nicolas Kuehn were revving their engines. Speaking about the confluence of cultures that their football teams now are, Germany coach Christian Wueck had mentioned Yeboah and the kind of influence he was on the pitch.
It came to light in the 20th minute when Lucas Halter slid into him and conceded a penalty. Jann-Fiete Arp did the rest, scoring his fifth goal of the competition, and Germany led after 21 minutes.
Call it coincidence or what you will but again it was the left side of the Brazil defence that had caved in. In Belo Horizonte, it was Marcelo who had gone AWOL and here it was Luan Candido who kept being exposed by Yeboah.
Weverson turns things around
It forced Carlos Amadeu to get Weverson, who was nursing a back injury and had missed the pre-quarter final, in after half-time. What a substitution it turned out to be!
Showing the kind of discipline expected of them, Germany took control from the time they went in front. Kuehn was like a BMW in top gear on an Autobahn when he got a long ball, and Arp played the targetman’s role to perfection and occasionally Elias Abouchabaka sidled into the penalty area.
Early in the second half, Josha Vagnoman headed over, off a corner-kick, with Brazil goalie Gabriel Brazao out of position.
Weverson’s introduction added width to Brazil’s attack and they could have scored had Lincoln’s ball for Paulinho been more accurate. Then lightning struck twice and the Germans fell.
Whatever happens, Brazil will now be coming to Kolkata next Saturday.
First Published: Oct 22, 2017 22:50 IST