THE DAY REPLAYED - Brazil stormed into the Round of 16 with another emphatic victory on a day when England, Peru and Costa Rica took a stride towards joining them in the knockout stage. However, despite enjoying fabulous support, Korea Republic and Korea DPR both fell to defeat, which now means they need to win their final group game - and hope results elsewhere go in their favour - to advance.
With 12 goals in two matches in Jeju, where England's 5-0 win over New Zealand preceded Brazil's 6-1 reverse of Korea DPR, a number of exciting players caught the eye. And although Suwon's double-header produced only two goals, there was more than enough talent for supporters to enthuse over. Togolese teenagers Alikem Segbefia and Safiou Saibou and Peruvian boy wonder Reimond Manco sparkled in their goalless draw, while players from both sides made a positive impression in Costa Rica's 2-0 defeat of Korea Republic
Brazil progress, England impress
Brazil relied on largely the same cast that put seven unanswered goals past New Zealand to beat Korea DPR 6-1 and cruise into the Round of 16, while England's much-changed side swept aside the All Whites to virtually make sure of joining the Seleção in achieving Group B progression.
Tristan Plummer and Daniel Welbeck were two of the players introduced to the starting XI by Three Lions coach John Peacock, and the pair formed an irrepressible triumvirate with Victor Moses. Their movement and interchange caused no end of problems to their opponents, who found themselves 4-0 down within 30 minutes courtesy of doubles apiece from Welbeck and Moses. Ashley Chambers completed a 5-0 win for England, who expertly assumed a 4-5-1 formation when New Zealand were in possession.
The only absentee from Brazil's opening day victory was Fabinho, whose nine-second strike had made history, but it did not prevent Lucho Nizzo's side getting off to a flying start. Captain Fabio was the deadlock-breaker on this occasion and, after Alex had doubled Brazil's lead, the attack-conscious left-wingback made it 3-0. The incoming Maicon, Giuliano and substitute Choco were their other scorers on an afternoon when the Seleção gave a further exhibition of their brilliance.
It was not all one-way traffic in Jeju, however. The Koreans did ask questions of their formidable adversaries, and the lively, never-say-die performances of Ri Sang Chol, Pak Kwang Ryong and An Il Bom were given some form of reward when the latter found the bottom corner of the net with a fine shot on the turn.
Peru, Costa Rica on the cusp
After 24 goals in four games yesterday, the FIFA U-17 World Cup was due a goalless draw. However, the meeting between Togo and Peru, which flowed from end to end and was highlighted by the skills of their respective luminaries Safiou Saibou and Reimond Manco, was anything but dull.
In total, 31 shots were fired at goal and with 23 of these coming from the boys in the yellow shirts it is safe to say that Peruvian goalkeeper Eder Hermoza had a busy afternoon. The Alianza Lima youngster was up to the challenge, though, and his alertness and agility helped Los Jotitas finish the day as the only team to have recorded two clean sheets.
Joining Peru on four points were Costa Rica, who assumed pole position by virtue of a marginally superior goal difference. The Ticos' 2-0 defeat of Korea Republic was, nonetheless, indebted to some inspired defending and the impressive reflexes of keeper Leonel Moreira. Collectively, they denied the hosts' shining lights Choi Jin Soo and Han Kook Young, before late goals from Marcos Urena and Jessy Peralta sealed a 2-0 win for Costa Rica.