Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster netted his second hat-trick of the 2017 Fifa Under-17 World Cup to help England beat Brazil 3-1 in the semi-finals in Kolkata on Wednesday, in front of a 63,000-plus strong crowd.
After hitting three goals past USA in the quarter-finals, the 17-year-old Brewster repeated his feat against Brazil, who were the crowd favourites at the Salt Lake Stadium.
England looked to get on the front foot early with George McEachran and Phil Foden controlling play from midfield, as the team’s top scorer Brewster looked to add to his four-goal tally at the World Cup.
Soon enough, it was the Young Lions who took the lead as a cross from Callum Hudson-Odoi led to confusion in the Brazil defence. Brewster stole a march on his marker but his initial shot off the cross was saved by Gabriel Brazao. But the Liverpool youngster made no mistake in putting the rebound away as England drew first blood in the 10th minute.
Eleven minutes later, it was all square as Paulinho’s shot stung the palms of English keeper Curtis Anderson. However, Anderson could only parry the ball onto the path of full-back Wesley, who finished the move adroitly to level things up for Brazil.
The impasse would not last long as Brewster put Brazil to the sword again after Foden reversed a pass to the on-rushing Steven Sessegnon. The full-back fizzed a ball in on the overlap and the ball made its way to the England No 9. Brewster needed just a touch before slotting it home.
And it was Brewster again who made sure of the victory for his team, as Foden’s pass made its way to substitute Emile Smith-Rowe. The Arsenal midfielder crossed the ball low into the box and the ricochet fell to Brewster, who buried it to spark wild celebrations on the English bench.
Brazil were deflated as the Europeans held on to reach their first-ever World Cup final at this level. England will take on either Spain or Mali in the final on Sunday.