FIFA U-17 WC: Goa feels like home, says Brazil coach ahead of Niger clash

Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu is relishing his time in Goa, the venue for his side's last group stage match against Niger, and feels it is a lot like home.

In a nice coincidence of sorts, the South Americans trained at the Utorda ground in Goa on Thursday in front of a house painted in the colours of Portugal and embellished with the crest of Portuguese Football Federation.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Brazil and Goa have a lot in common. As the country's U-17 World Cup coach Carlos Amadeu put it, “Portuguese language, Vasco da Gama and other stuff.”

On Friday, the two will unite and cherish the most revered of commonalities, football, when Brazil takes on Niger in the last Group 'D' encounter at the Fatorda stadium here.

In a nice coincidence of sorts, the South Americans trained at the Utorda ground on Thursday in front of a house painted in the colours of Portugal and embellished with the crest of Portuguese Football Federation. “Its a pleasure to be in Goa. This feels like home.” said Amadeu.

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In the two weeks that Brazil has been in India, it has indeed felt at home. Wins in its opening two matches have ensured qualification for the next stage. All it needs is to avoid defeat against Niger to top the group.  

The manner of the victories would have further cheered Amadeu. In the coach's lexicon, Spain plays football and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) “alternative football.”

But it has managed to beat both kinds of opposition with the trident of Lincoln, Paulinho and Brennner coming good. Lincoln and Paulinho have in fact scored all of Brazil's four goals thus far.

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However, Niger's coach Ismalia Tiemoko is someone who steadfastly believes – at least in public – that in this age-group there isn't much difference between any two nation's footballers. Will this work against a heavyweight like Brazil with potential qualification in line, only time will tell.

Niger, which is making its debut in a FIFA competition of any kind, has one win and one loss. It can progress only if it does the unthinkable against Brazil and Spain goes down to DPRK, another unthinkable act. But it did prevent two-time defending champion Nigeria from coming to India by beating it in the African qualifiers.

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The day's other fixture will see Iran take on Costa Rica. Iran, fresh after thrashing Germany 4-0, just needs a point to top Group 'C' while the Central Americans require a win to harbour any hopes of progress.

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