FIFA U-17 World Cup: How Paulinho, Weverson guided Brazil to victory over Germany
Paulinho and Weverson scored in the span of six minutes as Brazil defeated Germany in a hard-fought match to reach the FIFA U-17 World Cup semifinals.fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 23, 2017 19:47 IST
Nearing midnight, almost two hours after Sunday’s quarter-final had ended, Paulinho emerged from Brazil’s changing room at the Salt Lake stadium, half-finished bottle of a carbonated drink in hand. It was about the only fizz to the hard-earned victory against Germany perhaps because coach Carlos Amadeu had spoken about the need for balance in times of triumph and disaster.
Brazil won only after they managed to play their way, said Paulinho who scored the winner; a right-foot screamer of a shot from nearly 22 yards in the 77th minute. “We started well but then we got a little lost, confused and nervous. They (Germany) played long balls from their defence to ours. We were getting back too slowly and they started taking control. And when we had the ball, we were not playing our kind of football,” said the forward who now has three goals and two assists in five games.
“So, at half-time, we decided to play our kind of football. This is how we play,” he said. “We knew it would be a difficult match. It was the kind of day where we had to overcome everything ourselves. We are really happy that we went through but now we have to focus on another tough match. Like today, it will be a war,” he said, referring to Wednesday’s semi-final against England.
After a first half where they looked second-best because Germany had blocked their midfield, Brazil coach Carlos Aamdeu got the wide players to move up and the side-backs into the middle. Marcos Antonio became a blocker in the midfield and that confused Germany, he said.
Speaking about Paulinho’s goal, Amadeu said: “It was a beautiful strike. He has a knack of appearing in moments like this. In the South American championships, he scored a similar goal against Venezuela.”
The Germany coach, Christian Wueck, knew that we may not get Weverson to start --- the left-back had a back injury and had missed the pre-quarter final against Honduras --- and so he attacked us on that side, said Amadeu.
Weverson, whose 71st minute goal gave Brazil hope, said even though he wasn’t part of the starting line-up, he was concentrating from the time of the warm-ups. He replaced Luan Candido at half-time.
“I was looking forward to being a part of this game. No, I was not unhappy at not starting. We have 21 players and I was happy that a friend was playing in my place. When I got my chance, I was just thinking of scoring and that goal brought to the surface a lot of emotion. I have scored some great goals in my club but this is the one we are celebrating now,” said the left-back.
Paulinho said this was the first time he was playing in front of a crowd of over 60,000 who were supporting them. “We expect to come back to see this crowd again.”
First Published: Oct 23, 2017 19:27 IST