Score: – Brazil 1-3 England
Scorers: – Brazil – Wesley 21′ England – Rhian Brewster 11′, 39′, 77′
A second hat-trick in 3 days from Rhian Brewster helps England beat Brazil by 3-1. An end to end game which was on the edge for most parts despite England leading 2-1. But the third Brewster goal sucked the life out of the Sambas who fought well throughout. There were some missed chances at either end with a record crowd of 63,881 watching in Kolkata.
First Half: –
England took an early lead in the 11th minute when a lovely clipped cross found Brewster centrally. Brazilian defence just went to sleep for a moment there. The striker’s initial effort was saved by goalkeeper Brazao but the follow-up was straight at Brewster who buried the chance home.
The South Americans then kept applying the pressure in a bid to get back on level terms. They eventually got the equaliser in the 21st minute when a decent one-two touch build-up was rewarded with Wesley having two pops at goal, scoring in the second one after Anderson didn’t save the first shot cleanly.
England tried to regain control and composure but were always open for a counter-attack. That situation arrived when a simple ball over the top caught their defence square and Brenner missed a simple chance.
Six minutes before half-time, Brewster scored again with some good build-up around the penalty area and clever cut-back was met by the striker. The timing of this goal meant it was vital for Steve Cooper’s men to reassert their authority over this game.
Second Half: –
This half was all about Brazil going out in search of the equaliser and England staying compact. Although, Cooper’s men were far from content with their 2-1 lead knowing the fact that Brazil have comeback from these situations previously in this tournament. So, a third goal and a bit of leeway was always required.
This is why despite Brazil looking for an equaliser, England always had a chance on the counter-attack to kill the game off. In the 77th minute, substitute Smith-Rowe pulled back a lovely cross for Rhian Brewster’s hat-trick after some passing moves. The third goal was enough to take the stuffing out of the Sambas.
Both teams started with their 4-2-3-1 formation with flexibility coming from England. The flanks were constantly by Foden and Hudson-Odoi in order to keep the Brazilian fullbacks in their own half. The midfield also worked hard to ensure likes of Alan didn’t get much time on the ball to create openings.
Overall, it was a smart and well-worked performance by England. They are now just one step away from emulating the U20s of winning the World Cup. If they manage to win, this would be a great year for English football at the grassroots level, a sign of big things to come maybe. Brazil, on the other hand, were the favourites but their sometimes open defence brought about their downfall. They are a good team nonetheless.