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Rediff.com  » Sports » U-17 World Cup PIX: Brazil rally to down Germany; Spain trounce Iran

U-17 World Cup PIX: Brazil rally to down Germany; Spain trounce Iran

Last updated on: October 23, 2017 00:26 IST

IMAGE: Brazil's players celebrate a goal against Germany in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup quarter-final in Kolkata on Sunday. Photograph: PTI

Three-time champions Brazil rallied from a goal down, scoring twice in the space of six minutes in a second-half blitz, to beat Germany 2-1 in a thrilling quarter-final and enter the semi-finals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, in Kolkata, on Sunday.

Second half substitute Weverson and Paulinho scored in the 71st and 77th minutes respectively after Germany captain Jann-Fiete Arp had given his side the lead in the 21st minute by converting from the penalty spot.

Brazil, seeking their fourth title overall and first since 2003, will now meet England in the first semi-final in Guwahati on October 25.

The full-to-the-brim Sal Lake Stadium had their fingers crossed as Brazil trailed 0-1 till the 70th minute before the match turned on its head with Weverson and Paulinho finding the German net in quick succession.

The overwhelmingly partisan Brazil-supporting crowd heaved a sigh of relief as the South American champions stayed on course for the summit clash, which will be played at the same venue on October 28.

Arp converted from the spot with a deft right-footer, sending Grabiel Brazao the wrong way, to join France's Amine Gouiri and Mali's Lassana Ndiaye as the tournament's leading scorers with five goals.

Germany failed to build on the lead and Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu's masterstroke to bring in Weverson after the changeover in place of an off-colour Luan Candido and changing the formation to 4-3-3 paid rich dividends.

IMAGE: Weverson, right, celebrates with teammate Paulinho after scoring Brazil's opening goal. Photograph: PTI

Brazil came out firing in the second half and the sell-out Salt Lake Stadium went completely berserk after Brazil pumped in two goals in the second half to emerge winners.

Weverson made his presence felt as he capitalised on an attack initiated by Lincoln from the right as the Brazilian substitute's roaring left-footed shot brought on the equaliser.

Then it was the turn of Paulinho who blasted the back of the net six minutes later. The goal sealed their seventh semi-final berth and first since 2005.

Amid roars of 'Brazil, Brazil' from a capacity crowd of 66,630, the 'Selecao' found themselves at 'home' after American referee Jair Marrufo signalled the kick-off.

Starting with a 4-2-3-1 formation, the Brazilians' deft footwork, and Paulinho's sheer brilliance from the midfield, was like a treat of 'jogo bonito'.

They had the first attempt at goal when Lincoln raided the Germany box but could not go past the goalkeeper Luca Plogmann.

The woodwork came to the rescue of Germany in the sixth minute when Alan's shot from a tight angle cannoned off the left post. The move initiated by Lincoln was Brazil's best attempt at the target in the first half.

But Germany slowly took control of the proceedings and drew first blood after Brazil's Luan Candido, who started in place of Weverson, lost possession of the ball in a decisive 19th minute move.

John Yeboah initiated the attack before being fouled by Brazilian right-back Alexander Nitzl to win a penalty.

Germany almost doubled the lead but Elias Abouchabaka's left-footed shot missed the far post in the 26th minute.

They brilliantly marked Brazilian ace playmaker Paulinho to hold the slender lead into the break.

It was a neck-and-neck second half contest, with Germany stepping up the tempo looking to double the lead as Brazil lived dangerously before taking on the battle.

First, Abouchabaka's left-footer from inside the box was saved by the Brazil goalie, while minutes later Josha Vagnoman's header from the centre of the box ballooned over the goal.

Brazil pushed hard for the equaliser and at the hour mark they had back-to-back chances, Lincoln going close in two successive attempts but Plogmann was up to the task.

Lincoln then missed an unchallenged header inside the Germany box.

In the 65th minute, Paulinho could not time it to perfection and failed to capitalise on a fine cross from Lincoln. But it was a matter of time before Brazil restored parity and nosed ahead with strong crowd support behind them.

Weverson and Paulinho did just that with strikes in the space of six minutes to take the side to the semis.

Spain thrash Iran

Action in the Spain vs Iran Under-17 World Cup match

IMAGE: Spain's Ferran Torres, right, celebrates scoring a goal with team-mate Cesar Gelabert against Iran. Photograph: PTI

Earlier in the evening, European champions Spain turned in an eye-catching display of short passing normally associated with their senior team to overwhelm Iran 3-1 and enter the semi-finals, at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi.

One of the pre-tournament favourites, they completely dominated the quarter-final match as their one-touch passing game proved too hot for the Asian giants to handle.

Captain Abel Ruiz gave Spain the lead in the 13th minute before Sergio Gomez (60th) and Ferran Torres (67th) added a goal each.

Saeid Karimi pulled one back for Iran in the 69th minute.

Action in the Spain vs Iran Under-17 World Cup match

IMAGE: Action in the Under-17 FIFA World Cup match between Spain and Iran, in Kochi, on Sunday. Photograph: PTI

Spain, seeking their maiden title, now meet African champions Mali, in Navi Mumbai, in the second semi-final on October 25.

This is Spain's sixth appearance in the semi-finals in their ninth attempt. The La Rojita were runners-up in 1991, 2003 and 2007 and finished third in 1997 and 2009.

On Sunday, they had 70 percent of the possession, with seven shots on target, while Iran had just one clear look at the rival goal late the match.

Had goalkeeper Ali Gholam Zadeh not made some fine saves, Iran would have lost by a bigger margin. Zadeh was busy right through as Spain made waves of attacks through their fast-paced passing football.

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