The Brazil­ians ral­lied af­ter be­ing a goal down through strikes from Lin­coln and Paulinho to garner full points.

The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story -

Brazil de­feated Spain 2- 1 in a Group D match of the FIFA U- 17 World Cup foot­ball tour­na­ment at the Jawa­har­lal Nehru In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium here on Sat­ur­day.

Spain had taken the lead in the 5th minute through an own goal by Brazil's Wes­ley. The South Amer­i­can cham­pi­ons how­ever, re­cov­ered to strike back through Lin­coln ( 25th) and Paulinho (45'+1).

Brazil, who have won this tour­na­ment thrice, now have three points from one match.

Spain en­joyed the bet­ter start in the bat­tle of the two ti­tle con­tenders with Mo­hamed Moukhliss' at­tempt from close range off a low cross from Fer­ran Tor­res tak­ing a de­flec­tion off Wes­ley before find­ing the net.

Brazil grad­u­ally re­cov­ered from the early set­back and started to put pres­sure on the Span­ish de­fence.

They were re­warded for their ef­forts when Alan Souza drib­bled into the Span­ish penalty box from the right and pro­duced a back pass which was par­ried by Span­ish goal­keeper Al­varo Fer­nan­dez . Lin­coln how­ever, was on hand to tap home the re­bound.

The South Amer­i­cans took the lead in the first half added time when Paulinho latched on to a fine through from Mar­cos An­to­nio before beat­ing Fer­nan­dez with a ris­ing fin­ish.

It was an equal bat­tle in the sec­ond half with both teams en­joy­ing their fair share of chances.

Spain's best chance of the sec­ond half fell to Ser­gio Gomez in the 56th minute but Brazil goal­keeper Gabriel Brazao was equal to the chal­lenge. Asian gi­ants Ja­pan will eye a pos­i­tive start when they lock horns with Hon­duras in a Group E FIFA U-17 World Cup match at the Indira Gandhi Ath­letic Sta­dium here on Sun­day.

Ja­pan reached the quar­ter-fi­nals in 1993, when they hosted the tour­na­ment as debu­tants.

In the 2011 edi­tion, they topped a group which had world foot­ball heavy­weights Ar­gentina, France and Ja­maica on their way to the quar­ter-fi­nals.

All eyes will be on Take­fusa Kubo who is dubbed as the Ja­panese Messi.

Kubo is the youngest player to score in the J-League and rep­re­sented Ja­pan at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in May this year.

Ja­pan en­tered the tour­na­ment af­ter play­ing quite a few friendlies and an in­tense prepara­tory phase.

They will gain from the fact that they have a very sea­soned coach in Yoshiro Moriyama, a for­mer Ja­pan de­fender who has vast ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing and coach­ing in the J-League.

The Asian nation se­cured a ticket to India by virtue of an im­pres­sive per­for­mance in the 2016 AFC Un­der- 16 cham­pi­onship.

An­other for­ward, Cerozo Osaka, also has the skills to make an im­pres­sion.

Com­ing to Hon­duras, they have man­aged to reg­u­larly qual­ify for the tour­na­ment since 2007.

They bowed out of the first two edi­tions but man­aged to reach the quar­ter-fi­nals in 2013.

In the qual­i­fi­ca­tion race, Hon­duras fin­ished sec­ond be­hind a dom­i­nant Costa Rica in the cen­tral Amer­i­can zone qual­i­fiers to reach the CONCACAF U-17 Cham­pi­onship.

Once at the fi­nals, they were de­feated by hosts Panama, but re­cov­ered by beat­ing Cu­ra­cao and Haiti to reach the clas­si­fi­ca­tion round. IANS

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