Brazil sealed their place in the Round of 16 and ended Korea Republic's hopes of reaching the knockout stage with a comfortable 2-0 win in the final match of Group F in Emmen on Saturday. An early goal from Renato and a second-half strike by Rafael Sobis ended the Taeguk Warriors' participation at the FIFA World Youth Championship. Brazil will now play Syria in the last 16 on Tuesday.
"We are improving with every match," coach Rene Weber told reporters. "We have had about five good chances each game. The first we didn't hit the target, the second we scored once and this time with the same number of opportunities we found the net twice. I feel confident we will make the final."
Looking for more of a killer touch in front of goal, Rene Weber had brought in striker Bobo and midfielder Renato to replace Diego Tardelli and Evandro. And it was the talented Corinthians' man Renato who did the trick, heading home a left wing cross from inside the six-yard box (1:0, '9)
After their last-gasp heroics against Nigeria, Korea had returned to the slow plodding start that had characterised their opening games. Rafael Sobis fired just over from distance (16) and Ernane headed over (23) as the selecao pressed for a second.
Lifted by their captain Baek Ji-hoon, the Taeguk Warriors began to stir. Kim Seung-yong headed over following good work down the right (23), then, seven minutes on, after Shin Young-rok had turned sweetly inside the box, Baek could not keep his left foot follow up down.
Park Chu-young was having a tough time of it but, with Korea seizing the initiative, he almost got a shot away on 33. Two minutes after the restart Shin, leaping highest six yards out, almost grabbed the equaliser only to see his effort flash wide.
Brazil were now playing on the break. Sobis fired one over after a fast counter but made no mistake seven minutes later. Latching onto the ball 22 yards out, the Internacional forward fired an unstoppable shot that Cha Ki-seok could only watch crash off the inside of his left post and nestle in the net (2:0, '57).
Asian heads now dropped. Renato almost scored a wonderful third after a mazy dribble inside the box but placed his shot wide.
There was a brave late assault by Korea. Park had a header deflected and from the resulting corner Kim Jin-kyu forced Renan to tip over, but it was too little too late as the Red Devil fans cleared up for the last time in Emmen.
"Although we prepared very well for this tournament, we are still not at a world class level," said coach Park Sung-wha at the end. "It was a pity not to make the final 16 but we need to improve both technically and physically if we want to make the grade."