Brazil beat India 5-0 in its last group-stage match to remain unbeaten in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Monday.
Two goals each by Aline and Lara and one goal by Gabi Berchon were enough to secure three points for Brazil and demolish the Blue Tigresses at home. The win, and the United States beating Morocco, saw Brazil secure its place in the quarterfinals for the third time, after 2010 and 2012.
“Brazil had some specialities, like shooting from distance and also the cut-backs, where the wingers challenge the full-backs (on the wings),“India’s head coach Thomas Dennerby said after the match.
“That was something that we had talked about. Still, they scored two goals and we were not really there with the holding midfielders to help the defending line,” he added.
India’s head coach Thomas Dennerby had talked about the pace of Brazil’s Jhonson before the game. “She is up over 33 km/hr – that’s top-class speed,” he had quipped.
It was the pace that exposed India, not that of Jhonson, but her compatriot Aline.
The No. 7, the second-highest goal scorer in the CONMEBOL U-17 Championship with six goals, had already looked to retire full-backs by her pace along the flanks, against Morocco and the United States.
In the 11th minute, she made a run along the right flank and Indian captain Astam Oraon, despite her sprint, could not catch up to her. Aline squared the ball to Gabi Berchon and the midfielder slotted it home with a right-footed finish.
India’s right flank was punished again half an hour later when Aline and Ana Flavia switched positions and the latter’s cross was tapped in by Aline.
READ: IND 0-5 BRA, HIGHLIGHTS
India, on the other hand, looked more aggressive than it did throughout the tournament with chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘India! India!’ from stands packed with over 8,700 fans.
Anita Kumari came close to scoring in the sixth minute when she sprinted into the opposition penalty box to reach Kajal’s long ball only to see the Brazil custodian, Leilane, deny her.
At the half-hour mark, Thomas Dennerby’s side got another chance to shoot.
Neha, attacking on the counter, was away in the final third and landed India’s first, and only, shot on target despite a a soft tuck by Brazil’s captain Grazy. Despite Dennerby’s vehement remonstrations for a foul, the referee Marcotte Myriam saw nothing to a whistle.
“That was for me a very clear grabbing of the shirt and that means it should have been a red card. But I’m the coach of India and I will see it from the Indian point of view. But that could have changed a lot because definitely, she was losing her pace and her tempo because of that holding,” Dennerby said after the game.
“I asked the referee at half-time ‘You had VAR (that could have been used) and everybody had seen the situation. And today I learned a new thing ‘it was not long enough (holding)’. But I haven’t read in the rules that holding is time-bound. For me, it is super clear. But I say that as an Indian coach and I’m not blaming anyone, I’m just telling my personal opinion. I’m not saying that it was the referee’s fault that we lost. Not at all. But it could have changed the game because it was 1-0 at that time,” he added.
At half-time, Simone Jatoba, the Brazil head coach swapped Jhonson with Rhaissa. But Aline did not allow the spotlight to move elsewhere.
Six minutes into the second half, following a pass from Rebeca, she stopped, turned and hit a right-footed curler that swivelled into the top-right corner of the net. Jatoba had her arms raised in joy. Aline had her smile.
As the match trudged into the last 10 minutes, Lara, who had come on after half-time, launched a right-footed stunner into the top-left corner.
For the No. 17, it became shooing practice, as minutes later she launched a left-footed hit from outside the box, and kissed the top left corner.
“Yes, we lost, but we did not lose mentally. We rectified the mistakes of our previous matches in the immediate matches that followed,” Indian captain Astam Oraon said after the match.
“Still, we fell a bit short in the final match and the shortcoming that we had in the World Cup, we will try to cover up next time and try and win matches.”
Brazil will face Germany, the topper of Group B, on October 21, while the United States, after its 4-0 win against Morocco, will play Nigeria on the same day. Both matches will be payed at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
“We are going to study our opponents now. It is very important for us to go step by step and our next opponent is Germany. And over the next few days, we will be working to get fit again to face Germany,” Jatoba said.
MATCH RESULT: Brazil 5 (Gabi Berchon 11’, Aline 40’, 51’, Lara 86’, 90+3’) beat India 0