FIFA U-17 WC: Brazil eases past Honduras to enter quarters

From the start, it appeared to be a one-horse race with Brazil shredding the rival defence into pieces. Though Honduras backtracked to defend, the former modulated the pace by holding possession and constructed its moves slowly.

Brenner's brace left the Honduras defence in tatters.   -  H Vibhu

It was quite an unfamiliar sight at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium on Wednesday when the crowd booed Brazil and supported its opponent.

However, the support was not enough for Honduras as it slumped to a 0-3 defeat against Brazil which qualified for the quarterfinals of the FIFA under-17 World Cup. A brace from Brenner (11th and 56th) and a strike from Marcos Antonio (44th) booked Brazil's meeting with Germany in Kolkata on Sunday.

From the start, it appeared to be a one-horse race with Brazil shredding the rival defence into pieces. Though Honduras backtracked to defend, the former modulated the pace by holding possession and constructed its moves slowly.

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Despite being denied the room to manoeuvre, the sublime skills of Paulinho, Alan and Marcas enabled them to shrug off their markers and once the ball entered the Honduras box, a goal looked inevitable.

Brazil drew first blood in the 11th minute through a nice build-up from the left. Marcos Antonio moved up deep into the Honduras half and back passed to Alan who relayed the ball to Wesley and moved into the box to receive the pass.

Alan then set up Brenner with an accurate pass and the striker only had to tap the ball in to bulge the net.

The next best chance for Brazil came in the 20th minute when Alan induced a good save from Alex Rivera. The best chance for the Central Americans came in the 34th minute when a fine counterattack saw Luis Palma hit the post with a left footer.

At the other end, Paulinho weaved his way into the box and his astute chip over the keeper missed the mark by inches in the 36th minute. However, Brazil increased the lead in the 44th minute when Marcos Antonio lunged to score off Paulinho’s cross from left.

The second half resembled more of a practice match with the Brazilians playing the ball among themselves deep inside the Honduras half. After surviving a few half-chances, the Honduras defence fell in the 56th minute when an overlapping Wesley found his way into the box.

Wesley foxed his marker with an overhead chip but collided with the keeper Alex Rivera before taking the final shot. The loose ball came to Brenner who fired it in from close range. Another nice build up by Brazil in the 62nd minute ended with Marcos missing the target narrowly.

The crowd egged Honduras as it came out from its shell and played positively. Carlos Mejia’s 20-yard left footer beat Brazoa only for the ball to rebound off the far post. Luis Palma had a shy at the goal, however, the attempt was wide.

The positive riposte from Honduras in the second half reduced the margin of defeat that saw it concede the least number of goals in defeats.

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