Kolkata: Paulinho’s wonder goal was enough for Brazil to dump fierce rivals Germany out of the tournament as the junior Selecao marched on to the semi-finals of the Fifa Under-17 World Cup.
Brazil won 2-1 in front of a packed house of 66,613 at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan as Carlos Amadeu’s boys came from behind to register a victory that will see them line-up against England in Guwahati in the semifinal.
Germany lined up with a 3-5-2 as German coach Christian Wueck sought to curb Brazil’s creative attackers from the free-flowing displays that they have displayed this tournament. Brazil went for a 4-3-3 with Lincoln, Paulinho and Brenner lining up front, the trio with eight goals to their name at this tournament so far.
The Europeans started the brighter of the two teams as John Yeboah had a shot blocked from the edge of the box after mercurial striker Jann Fiete-Arp fed it to him.
Soon, they would have their goal as Yeboah would be brought down by Lucas Halter in the box. Fiete-Arp made no mistake as he smashed the ball in for his fifth goal of the tournament.
The score remained the same till half-time as Brazil were halted in their forward runs by some smart German defending.
After the half, it was a different ball game as Amadeu’s team piled on the pressure.
Brazil forced Luca Plogmann into some smart saves as Lincoln tested the Werder Bremen youth goalkeeper with a long ranger which almost caught him off guard. Lincoln would then fizz in a low ball from the right which Paulinho could have scored off had he touched the ball.
The goal was coming as the Germans invited pressure on themselves and it was Weverson, the left-back who thumped in a shot off the edge of the box which crashed off the horizontal to level the game for Brazil.
With 20 minutes left, Germany looked for a way back into the game but it was Brazil who got the all-important second as Paulinho shooting from 25 yards out, smashed it into the far right giving Plogmann no chance.
It was a goal worthy of winning a World Cup quarter-final. Germany launched a couple of late attacks but were unable to snatch an equaliser as Brazil set up a date with England.