FIFA U17 World Cup: Dominant Brazil bid adieu to Kochi with fantastic win over Honduras
Brazil, one of the title favourites of the FIFA U17 World Cup, had an easy run to the Round of 16 winning all the group stage matches against European champions Spain, Niger and North Korea. Vinicius Jr, Brazil's star player missed the tournament as Flamengo didn't leave the player for the World Cup but the other Brazil forwards Lincoln, Paulinho and Brenner filled the gap and led the attack.
Before the match, coach Carlos Amadeu said: "Vinicius is a great player and we would like to have him in the team, but we have won games and is totally satisfied with the team we have".
Brazil were in action again after a short break and their coach was happy to have more recovery time and added that his players got plenty of rest before the Round of 16 game. Carlos, who likes a good conversation, has had a good discussion with all the players in the team and is concentrating on the journey forward.
Brazil came through the group stage with a solid defence that conceding just one goal and bagged two clean sheets. Carlos said that the team has a solid defensive line and added that the team's defence starts from the attacking players and the teams attacking play starts from the defensive line and the goalkeeper. The team have maintained this equilibrium in the game and is the principle for Brazil's play.
Carlos added, "When we concede many goals we cannot put all the responsibility on the defenders, and when we get clean sheet we cannot give the glory only to the defenders; all the players are responsible for the result and we are looking for this balance in the team."
Before the game, right-back Wesley said that "There are no easy opponents, All opponents are difficult in the World Cup and it depends on us to make the game easy." He said his idol is Brazilian right-back Dani Alves, he used to watch the videos of Alves and tried to imitate him, which is not so easy, he joked. Wesley started as a defensive midfielder at CFC and later changed to right back after joining Flamengo.
Weverson the left back from Brasilia started playing football from young age says they are prepared to face any attacking team in the tournament and the technical team is behind the team to improve the defence. He said, "Winning the World Cup if there only aim and they work and we are working really hard every day for the title".
Brazil started the game strongly and the attacking trio showed a really good attacking game from the starting minute. In the 11th minute, Brenner scored his second goal in the tournament as Alan puts in the ball from the right side. After the goal, the pace of the Brazilian game was less and Honduras failed to take advantage of this with the woodwork and the goalkeeper denying them. Marcos Antonio doubled the lead for Brazil just before the halftime. Brenner scored his second goal in the match, sealing a comfortable 3-0 win for Brazil.
After the match, Carlos reflected: "After 20 minutes we were down but the 2nd goal gave us a relaxing moment." He added that Honduras marked the Brazilian midfield well which affected the defensive contribution in the game, and added that they have to work on this aspect in the next game.
"The players had pressure against Honduras as there was a large expectation on the Brazil team." The 7-1 result against Germany in the 2014 World Cup won't affect the Brazilian team as it was a senior team and because in the 2016 Olympics, Brazil had defeated Germany. He said injury problems will not affect the team either as the players selected for the FIFA U17 World Cup are able to play in different positions. He finished the press conference by saying that the players love to play in front of large crowds and the tournament is a rehearsal for the players' future.
After the match Marcus Antonio said: "We are good in offensive play, we have good chemistry with the teammates as we have been playing together for a long time. The last match Paulinho played well and today it was Brenner's day". Next game against Germany will be difficult for both the teams and the past won't affect us, we will be focused on the next game and want to create history. He ended by saying that he was proud to wear the Brazil jersey and represent the team.
Alan said that the team is focused on recovery now and technical team will help the team in coming days for the Germany's game. Alan added: "I am proud to wear the Brazil number 10 jersey and dream to play for the national team one day." On being short, the playmaker said "There is space for everyone in football, so being short is not a problem. Messi, Iniesta and all are short but they are great players."
Brazil will face Germany next in the quarterfinal on 22nd October in Kolkata.