FIFA U-17 World Cup: Brazil 2-0 Niger, Samba Boys dance their way into Round of 16
The Seleção have lived up to big expectations as they qualify for the Round of 16 after topping Group D. Brazil scored 2 goals in every group game and unfortunately conceded only 1 goal as a result of an error from Wesley which ended up being an own goal. Brazil's Talisman, Lincoln has scored a goal in every game of the group stage as the Brazilian team look far from missing their star striker Vinicius Junior.
''We didn't mark the Brazilian players well enough today. They were lapses in concentration especially for the second goal that we conceded'' said Niger Head Coach Tiemoko Ismaila in reference to the early goal scored in the 4th minute by Lincoln and the second goals scored in the 34th minute by Brenner. ''So far the tournament has been positive since we are participating for the first time, this is part of our development and we are in the right direction for the future'' continued Coach Ismaila
''The team is lacking serenity, but it is understandable as this is our first campaign ever. We also need to work on finishing the chances we create. It is always important to be clinical in such important tournaments'' said Coach Ismaila whose team picked up 3 points with a great win against Korea DPR but failed to repeat the same in the other two fixtures.
Brazil's Head Coach Victor Amadeu was very happy with his team's performances in the tournament and especially in yesterday's game as he stated: ''We did things we couldn't do in the other games, for example we scored in the first few minutes which helped take off the pressure. The Niger team played a totally different defensive game in comparison to Spain and Korea DPR, they were man-marking in the middle and made difficult for us''
The Brazilian team had a rather quieter second half and seemed to be tired, Coach Amadeu explained why by saying ''The weather is pretty hot and its quite humid as well, so that's the reason why we slowed down in the second half. Today, luckily we built the result really fast and in the second half we tried to control the ball and rhythm of the match. The only negative I would pick out from today's match was that we made many mistakes in passing the ball and our link up play''
Brazil are yet to find out if they will face Japan or Honduras in the Round of 16 but their venue is confirmed, Brazil will once again return to Kochi where they received immense support which they claimed motivated them for their games.
However, Coach Amadeu also had some praise in store for the Goan crowd who showed up in large numbers yesterday night, '' We are very happy the support we got made us feel like home, everything coming from the stands made us feel home. It's not something we are building now but it obviously comes from our past, our managers and legendary players as well, it's our duty to represent this nation and to take forward this history and relationship with football and football fans around the world that Brazil has created''
Niger will also face familiar and fellow African opponents Ghana in the next round in Mumbai.