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FIFA U17 World Cup: England 3-1 Brazil - Top 5 players

Top 5 / Top 10
454   //    26 Oct 2017, 11:44 IST

Brewster scored a hat-trick, yet again!
Brewster scored a hat-trick, yet again!

The first semi-final between Brazil and England was always going to tight. It was initially so - the exchanges were furious and equal. And then the English blitzkrieg happened in about the 10th minute. Who else but Rhian Brewster – continuing from where he left off from the previous game – to draw the first blood? 

But Brazil, having twice rehearsed a comeback – against big teams no less, Spain and Germany - held their shape and had an equalizer to show for it in the 21st minute. Wesley who had a good game so far supplied the parity catching a rebound off a fierce Paulinho effort. Another 15 minutes or so Brazil began to lose its shape and then couldn’t quite recover thereafter.

England very much paid a visit to the opponent’s backyard almost at will. So it would not be surprising to see England lead and populate this top 5 list. 

Here it is -   

Rhian Brewster | England | Centre Forward  

With seven goals in the tournament, he now holds the sole lead for the Golden Boot. One game to go and to have seven goals against your name is quite a feat. And today, he completed his second hat-trick in back to back games. The first came in the 10th minute after latching on to a Callum-Hudson Odoi assist and catching his own rebound off Brazilian goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao. Then in the 39th minute, he put England back in the lead via a Sessegnon's cutback from the right. For his third goal, he combined well with a cross sent by Smith-Rowe who was substituted in place of Morgan Gibbs-White only in the 68th minute.

The third could have come in 54th minute itself if the Hudson-Odoi cross that Brewster attempted to head in would have swung in a bit low.

Relentless even in the added minute in the first half, his hit was blocked by Vitao for a corner.

Philip Foden | England | Right Wing

Truth be told if Foden would have put one in, he would easily be the No.1 guy here. Tormentor-in-chief he was all throughout right from the 6th minute. A wrong foot attempt for this right-footer had sailed over the framework in this occasion. In the 23rd and 24th minutes successively he went into the deep – the first one with a cross but cleared by Vitao in the box and the other trying to shake Weverson resulting in a corner which though was subsequently wasted. Weverson had his work cut out for him in the wings trying to off-set Foden’s bull-dozing runs. Brenner had the same but in the midfield.   

Before he was pulled out of the game in the 87th minute– basically rested for the final – he regaled the crowd with a tearing run through the right and into the penalty box. Vitao, the Brazilian captain’s block again came handy when in the 48th minute he managed to negotiate Foden’s strike aided by Morgan-Gibbs who in turn received the ball after snatched it from the midfield.

Wesley | Brazil | Right Back

He probably expressed his tenacity with a foul when he cuts off a Hudson-Odoi move down the left. And he made use of his grit in the 21st minute – within eleven minutes of his team conceding the goal. He made use of a fierce Paulinho strike that Anderson, the English goalkeeper somehow managed to punch into the melee. He was seen to chase up and nullify Gibbs-White’s runs in the 45+2’ minute. 

Paulinho and Hudson-Odoi in a duel
Paulinho and Hudson-Odoi in a duel

Callum Hudson-Odoi | England | Left Wing

Well, Hudson-Odoi’s first impact was the final pass leading to England’s first goal. And throughout he was good with the supply. The second opportunity he created was a bit indirect. His left flank mayhem in the 29th minute was intercepted by Wesley before it could reach Brewster. The resulting corner was for Joel Latibeaudiere to miss and he did by heading it into the pitch. Then around the 62nd minute, he took turns with Foden to raid the Brazilian defence. 

Paulinho | Brazil | Forward

There are many contenders here – Latibeaudiere, Emile Smith-Rowe, Marc Guehi – all English lads and a Brazilian central midfielder, Marcos Antonio. But we tilted towards Paulinho.

His thundering strike was fended off by Anderson only to find the eager boots of Wesley. He got England their first booking in the 13th minute when Steven Sessegnon had to stop him in his tracks. His 19th minute turn inside the box could have given Brazil the equalizer – alas he hit wide. He again got into action in the 45th minute with a potential-laden swing but was cleared by Guehi.

Almost the last Brazilian chance he had a go in the 64th minute but straight at Anderson.

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Sudipto Mullick is a freelance writer and contributes on various subjects for The Statesman, Delhi Press ( magazines Woman's Era, Alive and their websites) and few other news portals.
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