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The win over Germany was a difficult one, admitted Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu, who said his side had to slog it out both physically and mentally in the 2-1 triumph which took the South Americans into the semifinals of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Brazil edged past Germany here last night after conceding a 0-1 lead in the first half. “They (the Germans) had two days’ rest having played their last round match before us. It could be an advantage,” Amadue said in the post-match press conference.
Amadeu hailed his boys for showing character in the face of tough conditions. “The hot and humid weather definitely play a role
affecting both the teams. But you have to think that these players were playing the game of their lives. Playing in front
of 66000-plus, they were all tired.
“It was a mental battle. I’m really happy with my boys. They not only put up a great physical challenge but their mental toughness was commendable,” he said. Amadeu credited a second-half change of tactics for the victory. Amadeu said the Brazillians managed to confuse the Germans with their tactical shift.
Germany led 1-0 till the 70th minute before substitute Weverson, who replaced a lackluster Luan Candido, and versatile playmaker Paulinho struck in a brilliant display to set up a semis date with England.
Amadeu discussed the change in strategy during the break and brought in Weverson in place of Candido, besides switching the players’ positions. “Our midfielders went to the wings while fullbacks and rightbacks went in a more central role. As a result, our forwards could infiltrate their defence more. This mixing with the positions and the style of play confused them,” Amadeu said at the post-match news conference.
“We also tackled their style to shoot directly from their defence by marking them well and blocked them. We managed to play better in the second half,” he said of Brazil, in line for a fourth title.
It was the Germans who stymied the Brazilians’ midfield early on and did not give any chance to the likes of Paulinho and Lincoln. Brazil conceded a penalty after Candido lost the ball possession.
“The German coach had a very good strategy. He blocked our midfielders and neutralised our most important offensive system. He made his team attack from the right. “This caused us some problems especially to our left-back (Luan Candido) who started for the first time in this competition. The German coach was aware of that and was able to swing the game in their favour.”
“This is the beauty of football. Weverson who had lost his position but when he got the opportunity he risked everything with that shot, what a great goal that he scored. The coach lauded the bullet strike by Paulinho. “Paulinho also beautifully scored. He is a player who appears in moments like this. He scored a similar goal against Venezuela in the South American championships,” Amadeu said
lavishing praise on the duo.
Brazil will travel today to Guwahati to take on England in the semifinal on October 25. “Today we made a very difficult victory. It was very difficult to win against Germany. Today is the day to enjoy…This is the time to enjoy the moment, talk to our families, celebrate with our technical staff. Tomorrow we will start to think about England.
“It’s how we do everything — we dance when we win and also when we lose… We cannot be euphoric or too sad when we lose.” Brazil also found themselves at home at the city’s Salt Lake Stadium where a majority of the 66,000 fans turned up to support the South Americans.
“10 out of 10. If permitted, I will give them more than 10. We are looking forward to come back here again on Saturday (to play the final on October 28),” Amadeu said.
“Congratulations to you for the organisation, for the brilliant stadium you have here… All the facilities, the changing room, the pitch everything was brilliant. It was huge for us. It was special to play here.
“The fans have been so polite. They were also clapping for Germany when they had a great game in the first-half. The way you supported the match was beautiful. We are really happy to play here. It was a great match.”
German coach Christian Wueck had hit out at the referee Jair Marrufo, claiming that he overlooked a foul against Jan Boller, calling it a red card offence. Amadeu said he did not see the incident in question.
“I did not see that exactly. I just saw that the coach was unhappy… I cannot say what happened on the pitch, but it’s not our style, not our way to win games.
“We are here to play football. The best example of this is that we have just one yellow card in five games. If something unwarranted has happened, I will speak to the players because it’s not the way we play football,” he signed off.