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Samba boys look to end group phase on a high

13 Oct 2017 06:51am IST
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13 Oct 2017 06:51am IST
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Play Niger in the ultimate group league match at Fatorda today

ALLAN D’CRUZ


FATORDA: Following their impressive wins in the first two group games, Brazil will aim to end the group phase on a high as they aim to collect three points in their final Group D encounter against Niger, at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Friday.

The three-time junior world champions have already sealed the knock out berth with a game in hand. They first defeated European champions Spain 2-1 before knocking off North Korea 2-1.

Both the matches had one thing in common, the scorers. Brazil have scored four goals in last two games with Lincoln and Paulino sharing two goals each between them.

Lincoln have been exceptional in Brazil’s attack, who is equally supported by attacking wingers Paunlino and Brenner. El Selecao dominating midfield has been Carlos’ strength with Alan and Marcus adding to their attack and defence whenever required. Playing a 4-1-4-1 formation, the Brazilians boasted high ball possession in the last two matches. However, their conversion rate has been a concern.

“We had 27 shots at the goal. The most difficult is to create opportunities and we managed to create them. We need to be more better in finishing. Now we don’t have time to practice, now we can rely on videos and talks,” said Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu during the pre-match conference on Thursday.

Undeniably, Brazil’s defence is quite strong with captain Lucas and Vitao leading the backline.

Despite earning their qualification from the Group D, Brazil coach Carlos has made his intentions clear of pocketing all three points against Niger.

“You can expect full strength squad on Friday. We have a great responsibility of the competition and our qualifying position, so we are going to play with our maximum force. We are waiting for some recovery and if the players are fit then we will have our full squad for the match,” he exclaimed.

The coach also revealed that he has some recovery concerns and might not play Alan who was booked in the first match against Spain.

Like Iran, Brazil too aren’t new to the Goan playing conditions as the South American participated in the BRICS Cup last year.

“We have experience here. We have been here last year. We are little bit more prepared for the situations, such as weather. It’s an advantage to us not because we won BRICS Cup but because we played here,” said Carlos.

The Brazil squad worked on their set pieces and long balls during their hour long training session at Utorda ground.

Meanwhile, debutant Niger are must win situation following their 4-0 loss against Spain. Making their debut in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Niger stunned North Korea 1-0. However, Ismaila Tiemoko colts will have to give their best on Friday to maintain their chances of advancing from the group.

Niger usually play 4-4-2 formation, and will have to bank on a Abdourahmane and Marou to score the goals. Niger’s back four —Moussa, Idrissa, Mossi and Namata cannot tend to do any mistake as and will have to be alert to counter Paulinho and his men.

Niger coach termed the clash as a difficult and tough one considering the South American’s desire to finish the group on a high.

“It is going to be a tough match against Brazil, which we have to win in order to qualify for the knock-out round. We have the potential to overcome the challenge from Brazil and are looking forward for the match,” said Ismaila Tiemoko.



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