FIFA U-17 WC: It's three out of three for Brazil

Niger chose to man-mark but its players were often left gasping by the sheer speed of the Brazilians. So impeccable was the Selecao's close control that almost all the challenges Niger was drawn into were futile.

Brenner of Brazil is challenged by Yacine Wa Massamba of Niger during a Group C match.   -  FIFA

It wasn't exactly the treat the fans had come to expect from Brazil, but it was a satisfying evening nonetheless as the crowd-favourite beat Niger 2-0 in the final FIFA U-17 World Cup Group D encounter at the Fatorda stadium here on Friday.

Following three wins out of three, Brazil topped the group. With Democratic People's Republic of Korea losing to Spain in the other match, Niger finished third and will thus qualify as one of the four best third-placed teams, for two of six the groups – Group B and C – will have no representatives.

MATCHCENTRE

For Brazil, it didn't take long for the deadly duo of Paulinho and Lincoln to combine. As early as the fifth minute, Paulinho sent a perfectly-weighted ball from the right flank for Lincoln to finish at the far post. Within moments the Flamengo No. 9 could have doubled the lead but his towering header crashed against the bar.

REPORT: Spain 2 beat North Korea 0

Niger chose to man-mark but its players were often left gasping by the sheer speed of the Brazilians. So impeccable was the Selecao's close control that almost all the challenges Niger was drawn into were futile. It seemed as if a goal would come from every attacking move. It was then odd that the second was from a deflected freekick by Brenner.

Yet, when Niger had the ball it wasn't as bad as it was made to look in the initial exchanges.  It made more than one foray into the opposition half. But anxiety cost its players. Kairou Amoustapha couldn't put the ball into an open net in the first half and it took nearly an hour for the African side to register the first shot on goal.

It gradually grew in confidence and dispossessed the Brazilian defenders more than a few times. Habibou Sofiane and Yacine Massamba drew excellent saves from goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao too. But scoring three past Brazil was always a task beyond it.

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