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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Brazil take down North Korea with second half flourish

Lincoln and Paulinho, who had scored for Brazil in the opening game vs Spain, continued their goal-scoring run as they finished off chances within a span of five minutes to help the South American champions secure a 2-0 win vs North Korea in the FIFA U-17 World Cup

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 10, 2017 23:32 IST
Bhragab Sarmah
Bhragab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, Kochi
FIFA U-17 world Cup,FIFA Under-17 World Cup,North Korea vs Brazil
Lincoln (left) of Brazil celebrates with teammates after socring against North Korea during their FIFA U-17 World Cup match at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi on Tuesday. (FIFA)

Brazil produced a clinical second half performance against North Korea to register their second consecutive win in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Group D at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday. (North Korea vs Brazil match highlights)

Lincoln and Paulinho, who had scored in the opening game against Spain, continued their goal-scoring run as they finished off chances within a span of five minutes to help the South American champions secure a 2-0 win. (POINTS TABLE | RESULTS | SCHEDULE)

Brazil dominated the game from the beginning, but failed to break down the Korean backline.

In the second minute, goalkeeper Sin Tae Song pulled off a close range save from Lincoln to keep the score level. Paulinho found himself in space for a shot 10 minutes later, but couldn’t guide his attempt on target.

Tight Korean defence

North Korea’s compact shape in defence saw Brazil struggle in the final third on the opening exchanges. Despite managing to keep possession for most of the first half, the finishing touch was missing from Brazil’s game.

They had to wait till the 41st minute for their next big chance. Midfielder Alan Souza had a good chance to give his side the lead, but his shot from inside the Korean box was wide of the mark.

Four minutes later, Alan was at the end of another good chance. This time, his effort missed the target by a few inches, hitting the side netting.

Brazil piled on the pressure in the second half, and in the 51st minute, Brenner forced Tae Song into a diving save with a curling shot from the edge of the box.

Brazil’s clever free kick

Five minutes later, however, Brazil finally had the lead. A free kick from just outside of the box slipped under the North Korean defensive wall, and bounced.

The North Korean keeper left his line to try and grab the ball, but the Lincoln was positioned well and timed his header perfectly, triggering wild celebrations in the Brazil dugout.

With the lead in the bag, the group leaders continued to push forward. In the 61st minute, Paulinho found himself through on goal, and showed great maturity to shoot past the keeper at the far post with a calm left-footed finish.

Paulinho, who picked up a knock just a couple of minutes before the goal, was taken off shortly after.

“Paulinho felt some pain on his foot. We were preparing for a substitution when he scored. Since we had a two-goal advantage, as a precaution we took him off,” Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu said after the game.

The Koreans put on a fight late in the game with skipper Yun Min forcing Gabriel Brazao, the Brazilian goalkeeper, into a save from a free kick in the 81st minute. Two minutes later, Kim Pom-hyok had his shot saved by Brazao.

Marcos Antonio put the ball in the back of the net with the last kick of the game, but it was flagged for offside.

“If we had scored when we had the chance at the start of the match, it would have been easier for us. (North) Korea were doing very good work in their defensive line,” Amadeu stated.

“In the last game, we had to soak in pressure from Spain, and today we were dominating throughout the match. This is something which will help these players in the future.”

Lack of concentration

North Korea coach Kim Yong-su acknowledged Brazil as the superior side, and vowed to prepared well for the next game against Spain.

“We relied on our fast counter-attack today. The players are very young and concentration can go down. We will do our best in the next game,” he said.

“I think the defence was good today and the midfield helped in our defensive organisation. Spain are one of the strongest teams in Europe. We will do the best we can for a good result.”

First Published: Oct 10, 2017 23:28 IST