The fancied Brazilians booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 with a 2-0 win over familiar foes and neighbours Ecuador in Guadalajara on Wednesday. The South American giants, tipped as favourites from the start of the tournament, will now face Japan, who hammered New Zealand 6-0 in their round of 16 game.
Both sides let fly in the first ten minutes from long range at the Estadio Guadalajara, but Brazil were first to get their shootings sights aligned, opening the scoring in the 16th minute. A brilliant heel flick from Adryan in midfield picked out Wallace, who pulled the ball across the area from right to left. Ademilson fired a shot from 25 yards and although Ecuador goalkeeper Darwin Cuero got his right hand to it, the ball went in off the bottom of the post for the striker’s fourth goal in Mexico.
The Ecuadorians adopted a decidedly defensive posture, playing a dangerous game by gifting the talented Brazilians possession and time on the ball while camped in their own half. However, in the 35th minute, the men in blue had their best chance to score. On a rare foray forward, Jose Cevallos skipped by his man at the edge of Brazil’s box and fired a cross-shot with his right foot that had Charles scrambling to push the ball around the post.
Brazil were on the march again just five minutes into the second period. Ademilson very nearly picked up his second goal of the game, but his bobbling effort from a tight angle bounced back off the post after somehow eluding Cuero. The Ecuadorians were in the mood to be a little more adventurous in the second half, though, and on the hour-mark Brazil net-minder Charles had to be at his very best form to keep out substitute Kevin Mercado, who raced in behind the defence.
The Brazilians began to exploit the growing holes in the Ecuador backline and in the 71st minute Emerson got on the end of a clever give-and-go inside the area, only to be denied by another nice save from Cuero. With three minutes to go in the contest the Selecao made sure of their win when Leo scored his first goal of the tournament with a flicked header at the near post from a fine Adryan free-kick. Ecuador now head for home while Brazil travel to Queretaro and their quarter-final date with Japan on 3 July.