FIFA U-17 WC: Brewster hat-trick powers England past Brazil to final

Rhian Brewster's second hat-trick of the tournament powered England past Brazil to its first FIFA U-17 World Cup final.

Rhian Brewster celebrates with his teammates after his match-winning hat-trick against Brazil on Wednesday.   -  K. R. Deepak

There is absolutely no stopping Rhian Brewster. The in-form striker scored his second successive hat-trick to secure England’s maiden entry to the final of FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Read: FIFA U-17 WC: Ruiz brace sets up all-European final

Brewster picked up from where he left off at the quarterfinal, where he pierced through the USA defense for a splendid hat-trick and meant business against Brazil as well.

Inconspicuous in his movement into the penalty area at the right time, much like a true number nine, the charismatic forward tormented the Yellows with two spectacular goals in the first half and followed it up with a screamer the 77th minute to effectively end Brazil’s hopes of winning a fourth title.  


England's first goal came in the 10th minute when midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi played a smooth cross from the left flank to a perfectly positioned Brewster, who's first strike was parried feebly by Brazilian goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao.

Read: Brewster buoyed by back-to-back hat-tricks

The save found Brewster's feet, who had all the time in the world to pack in enough power and slot the ball into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the tournament. It was an unexpected turnaround in the proceedings as it was Brazil which dominated possession in the initial phase of the match.

Watched by a massive turnout of 63,881 fans, most of whom were supporting Brazil, the young Selecao equalised soon after in the 21st minute.

After a quick one-two pass, Paulinho struck a powerful shot at the goal which England 'keeper, Curtis Anderson, managed to push away. However, he managed to push it away only as far as a waiting Wesley, who coolly put it in the back of the net to see the crowd going berserk in celebrations. That, unfortunately, was going to be the last time Brazil celebrated.


Brewster gave his side the advantage yet again and put England ahead with a fine strike in the 39th minute from pretty much the same position as his first goal. This time, he was superbly assisted from the right flank by Foden, who cut through the midfield for a wonderful pass to Steven Sessegnon who was at the edge of the D. Sessegnon sent it back to Brewster with his first touch and the forward didn’t need a second attempt to slot it home. The ball swished past the Brazilian goalkeeper who could only shrug off in desperation. The goal also made Brewster the tournament's top-scorer.

Hudson-Odoi and Foden, who assisted the first and second goals, were in great form and were instrumental in England's success.

Brazil searched desperately for an equaliser in the second half, constantly fending off attacks from the England side, which was determined to find a third goal. But the goal that Brazil came searching for, never materialised.

Paulinho tried his best to create chances, often feeding Lincoln inside England’s penalty area. English goalkeeper Anderson was kept busy throughout, but Brazil just couldn’t find the back of the net. Lincoln seemed off colour and missed quite a few chances, while Marcos Antonio fired a few long-range attempts but nothing really troubled Anderson.

In the 77th minute, in the rare instance of England heading into the Brazil half, the recently substituted Emilie Smith Rowie, who came in for Gibson White, sent in a searing assist from the right to Brewster who knew exactly where to place it in for his second hat-trick and seventh goal of the tournament.

England broke into wild celebrations - with the coach, staff and players certain that it would take nothing short of a miracle for Brazil for come back from two goals down. That didn’t happen and England enjoyed a memorable win to coast into Saturday's final.

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