FIFA U-17 WC: Bronze for Brazil

A fortuitous break, exploited by the team’s playmaker Alan, put the South American champion ahead in the 55th minute of the third place playoff match against Mali in the FIFA under-17 World Cup, before substitute Yuri Alberto added one more, two minutes from the whistle to ensure a victory for the South American champion in the last match of its Indian campaign.

Brazil's Alan celebrates with team-mates after scoring the first goal against Mali in the FIFA U-17 World Cup match for the third place at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.   -  K. R. Deepak

Brazil, always the crowd favourite at any neutral venue across the globe, rode its luck to secure a 2-0 victory over Mali in the third-place playoff at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Match Centre

A fortuitous break, exploited by the team’s playmaker Alan, put the South American champion ahead in the 55th minute of the third place playoff match against Mali in the FIFA under-17 World Cup, before substitute Yuri Alberto added one more, two minutes from the whistle to ensure a victory for the South American champion in the last match of its Indian campaign.

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GOLDEN BALL

 

1.    Philip Foden (England)

2.    Sergio Gomez (Spain)

3.    Rhian Brewster (England)

GOLDEN BOOT

 

1.    Rhian Brewster (England) 8 (penalty 1)

2.    Lassana N'Diaye (Mali) 6

3.    Abel Ruiz (Spain) 6 (penalty 2)

GOLDEN GLOVE

 

Gabriel Brazao (Brazil)

FAIR PLAY AWARD

Brazil

 

After an error-prone, but action-packed first-half, Alan punished the Malian defence for two horrendous mistakes. Midfielder Mamadou Samake was guilty of holding on to the ball for a little too long, and the clever Brazilian dispossessed him before running away from the chasing pack. His weak left-footed grounder from outside the box, however, appeared to pose little threat to goalkeeper Youssouf Koita. But the AS Bamako player made a mess of his collection and could only watch helplessly as the ball rolled in following the fumble.

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Mali, despite enjoying only 43 percent of possession, looked more threatening in the first-half with Lassana N'Diaye and Hadji Drame proving a constant menace to the Brazilian defence. Looking to take advantage of Gabriel Brazo’s suspect gathering skills, the African champion probed the Brazilian goal with speculative, long-range efforts.

Brazil had a moment of scare when Brazo failed to collect a free-kick from Boubacar Haidara in the 20th minute. However, the ball, to his relief, went out of play. In the 39th minute, Brazil almost paid the price for some casual play by its defence as Lassana N'Diaye intercepted a loose ball and passed it on to Salam Jiddou, whose snapshot was parried away acrobatically by Brazao.

Alan’s strike, 10 minutes after the restart, brought even more urgency to the Malian game, with the team attacking in numbers, in search of the equaliser. Despite creating more chances, Mali’s efforts failed to have the desired result with Brazil stealing the show right at the end. Exploiting the space left open by its desperate, attack-minded opposition, Rodrigo Nestor played a long ball from the left to an advancing Brenner, whose pass from inside the box found Alberto unmarked, with only the goalkeeper to beat.  The 74th minute-substitute made no mistake, ending all chances of a Malian comeback.