Updates from : The Hindu .
Brazil thrashed 3-1 in the semi-final in Kolkata
England struck the right mix of flair and fortitude to outshine Brazil 3-1 on the way to ensuring its maiden final of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Striker Rhian Brewster did the star turn for England with a fine hat-trick in the first semifinal at the Salt Lake Stadium here that finished Brazil’s hopes of regaining the title.
Incidentally, this is Brewster’s second successive hat-trick following the three over USA in the quarterfinals.
The match turned out to be a feast for those watching as two of the most technically endowed sides faced each other with England executing its plan better. Presenting a collection of talents culled from the academies of Premier League sides, England thrived on the technical maturity of its players.
A turnout of over 63,000 — rooting for pre-match favourite Brazil — watched in awe as England rose to the occasion with a memorable performance.
Brewster, the lone forward picked up from Liverpool FC, justified the hard work put in by his colleagues with his goal poaching ability. Brewster now tops the goal-scorers’ list with seven to his name but it was the creative spark of Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden that set the foundation for a great England victory.
The start was along expected lines as two creative sides tried to open up the attack route. Brazil went in search of the goal right from the off testing the English defence with an exchange of around 20 passes. Showing the right attitude, England patiently soaked up the Brazilian attack and tried to build up a counter-offensive using Foden’s creativity.
The England midfielder almost got the break in the sixth minute when he sneaked into the Brazil box after receiving a pass from Morgan Gibbs-White. Foden’s finishing, however, did not meet the precision of the build-up as he shot over the crosspiece.
This set up the tempo for a series of England attacks that brought Brewster in the picture. The lanky No. 9 showed perfect positioning in reaching a cross from left-winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. Brewster’s first attempt came off the Brazilian keeper Gabrial Brzazo but the English striker was quick to latch on to the rebound.
Brazil regrouped after conceding the goal and succeeded in getting the equaliser in the 21st minute. Right-back Wesley went on the overlap to release his upfront colleague Paulinho following a one-two-one near the English box. Paulinho’s attempt was block by England goalkeeper Curtis Anderson but Wesley was in the right spot to avail the rebound.
The equaliser pepped up the Brazilians but the Selecao could not formulate the turnaround like it in the 2-1 quarterfinal win over Germany. With Geroge McEachran and Gibbs-White holding up well the Brazilians lost midfield battle where its most creative player Alan failed to sparkle.
Brazil went behind again in the 39th when Brewster found the opposition net once again. This was a result of a fine combination between Foden and right-back Steven Sessegnon, who opened up the Brazilian defence with a nice cut-back.
Leading 2-1 at the break, England continued with its dominance after the interval and ensured the win in the 77th minute when Brewster completed his hat-trick receiving a measured cross from substitute Emile Smith Rowe.
The result: England 3 (Rhian Brewster 10, 39, 77) bt Brazil 1 (Wesley 21).