Favourites denied final slots at U-17 World Cup

The under-17 world cup in Mexico ends this weekend with the most favorite teams of the tournament contesting for third and fourth place finish.Brazil and Germany were stunned during the semi-finals of the tournament as they were eliminated by Uruguay and Mexico respectively.Uruguay beat Brazil 3-0 and Mexico came from behind to beat Germany 3-2 to clinch finals of the tournament that will be played on Sunday.
By Dr. Joseph Kamugisha
By Dr. Joseph Kamugisha

The under-17 world cup in Mexico ends this weekend with the most favorite teams of the tournament contesting for third and fourth place finish.

Brazil and Germany were stunned during the semi-finals of the tournament as they were eliminated by Uruguay and Mexico respectively.

Uruguay beat Brazil 3-0 and Mexico came from behind to beat Germany 3-2 to clinch finals of the tournament that will be played on Sunday.

Based on the overall performance, many soccer pundits thought Brazil and Germany could reach the finals of this tournament.

Brazil five times world cup record winners as well as Germany three time world cup winners have performed very well ever since the under-17 world cup kicked off in Mexico.

Uruguay win against Brazil was a huge shock to many soccer pundits given the history of success by the Brazilians in this tournament.

Though Brazil was missing their star striker Adryan who plays for flamengo, Uruguay proved physically and tactically better during the course of the game.

Brazil has exceptionally talented youngsters in this tournament and their performance ever since this tournament started deserved atleast a final slot.

Brazil has been a force at the under-17 world championships for a long time. Fourteen years ago, at the U-17 World Cup in Egypt everybody was raving about Brazil and their playmaker Ronaldinho.

Ronaldinho then wearing no.10 jersey wowed spectators with his mesmerizing ball skills and inspired his country to a 4-0 semi-final defeat of Germany and 2-1 wins over Ghana in the final game to win the trophy.

At just 16, Ronaldinho was being hailed as one of the biggest South American prospects since Diego Maradona. The catalogue of honors he now owns boldly pay testament to the fact his country realize that teenage potential is crucial to overall career development.

On the eve of the latest edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, another Brazilian finds himself being showered in mega-hype.

Like Ronaldinho was in Egypt, Adryan the Flamengo youngster is just 16 and a playmaker for his nation.

Adryan who now shares a club with Ronaldinho is likely to follow in the footsteps of the two-time world player of the year.

Adryan has been in magical form as Brazil cruised to this year’s U-17 world cup semi-finals in Mexico.

Adryan is among top strikers at the on going world cup championships in Mexico and has scored a couple of goals that saw Brazil beat Denmark, Australia, and Japan in quarter-finals before being eliminated by Uruguay.

Germany and Brazil have failed to reach the finals of this tournament due to poor defending skills and tactics as noticed from the quarter final stage of the tournament.

Both Brazil and Germany qualified for the semi-finals of the Under-17 World Cup after late scares from Japan and England in their quarter finals.

At the quarter finals, although the Brazilians were playing rather narrow and directly, their goals were classy affairs from Leo’s flicked header, Ademilson’s rifle into the corner and Adryan’s exquisite hit on the hour mark when he turned the full-back and roofed the winner.

Japan kept working their short passing game but produced nothing beyond Hideki Ishige hitting the crossbar in the first half and was 0-3 down.

During the second half Shoya Nakajima finally finished off a move 13 minutes from time to reduce the arrears and then Fumiya Hayakawa’s header two minutes from time made for a nervous end for the Brzailians who now face the Germans in the third play-offs.

Like Brazil, their counterparts Germany had early advantage, a brace by Samed Yesil and a goal by Kaan Ayhan gave Germany a similar three-goal cushion after 53 minutes, but the tournament’s most outstanding team, who had only conceded one goal previously allowed England to mount a spirited fightback.

Sammy Magri’s penalty in the 67th minute gave England hope, and substitutes Jack Dunn and Nathan Redmond then enlivened the three Lions’ attack.

A lazy backheel from Marvin Duksch in the 83rd let a marauding Redmond in on goal and the perfectly named Hallam Hope poked into an empty net as the German defence was for once sliced apart.

Ends