BRAZIL DOWN SPAIN IN GROUP D OPENER
The Brazilians rallied after being a goal down through strikes from Lincoln and Paulinho to garner full points.
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