FIFA U-17 WC: Brazil overcomes Korea to enter next round

After struggling to find target in the first half, the Brazilians struck twice within five minutes in the second half to nail the win

Brazil’s Paulinho (right) and Korea player Cha Kwang in action during their FIFA U-17 World Cup football match in Kochi on Tuesday.   -  H. VIBHU

Brazil overcame a defensive North Korea 2-0 to record its second consecutive win in Group D and qualified for the pre-quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium here on Tuesday.

After struggling to find target in the first half, the Brazilians struck twice within five minutes in the second half to nail the win. Lincoln (56) and Paulinho (61) again came to their side's rescue and struck quickly in the second half to quell the Korean challenge.

Match centre

The gritty North Koreans managed to keep a clean slate at half-time despite being pushed to the brink by Brazil. Playing defensive from the start, the Koreans invited a torrent of raids from the South Americans. The Brazilians attack came mostly from the left flank, where defender Weaverson moved up to assist the attack.

Paulinho, Alan and Lincoln were on the prowl as Brazil created a slew of chances. But Koreans seemed to back their plan as Brazil struggled to penetrate into the defensive phalanx put up by the Asian side.

Brazil had the first shot at the Korean goal in the second minute when Brenner made his way into the box from the left flank and his cross saw goalkeeper Sin Tae Song save an attempt from Lincoln.

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In the 12th minute, Paulinho weaved his way into the box only to shoot wide from close. Sin Tae Song was alert enough and intercepted a cross before it could reach Lincoln in the 30th minute to thwart off another attempt.

Early in the second half, the North Korea goalkeeper tipped over an excellent 25 yard left-footer from Brenner. Brazil, though, went ahead in the 56th minute after a foul on Brenner earned it a free kick from just outside the box. Weverson's shot rebounded off the wall and bounced towards the goal. Lincoln headed the ball in before Sin Tae Song could collect it.

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A bout of slick passing between Weverson and Brenner and excellent finishing by Paulinho saw Brazil forge ahead in the 61st minute.

The twin strikes forced North Korea to abandon its defensive approach. The Koreans played a more open game to challenge the Brazilians, but Brazilian goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao rose to the occasion twice to frustrate the Koreans and earn his side a berth in the round of 16.

Results: Korea DPR 0-2 Brazil (Lincoln 56’, Paulinho 61’)

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