Favourites Brazil lived up to the hype in their FIFA U-17 World Cup opener, putting Slovakia to the sword 6-1 at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The South Americans now move to the top of Group A, and Mosquito, of club side Atletico Paranaense, climbs to the top of the scorer’s chart with a three-goal day.
Three-time champions Brazil got off to a flying start, grabbing a pair of early goals through the sensational Mosquito. The young man, who packs the kind of sting his name suggests, got on the board after only 17 minutes when he slotted a low cross from club team-mate Nathan between the legs of Slovakia goalkeeper Martin Junas. Then, after the Europeans nearly drew level through Jakub Hromada, Mosquito struck again to make it 2-0. He made no mistake from the spot after Nathan was taken down in the area by the Slovakian keeper.
Deep into first-half stoppage time, Mosquito turned provider as Brazil added a third. He sent in a cute through ball for Nathan, who had no troubles finishing. The Slovakians, stunned by the force of Brazil’s passing game and overall panache, must have been grateful when the whistle went for half-time.
The South Americans were in total control, and they wasted no time picking up where they left off in the second period, Mosquito hitting against the outside of the post after picking off a lazy pass in the Slovak defence. The Europeans weren’t so lucky in the 52nd minute, however, when Abner broke down the left and crossed low for Nathan, who tapped home his second of the day from close-range to make it 4-0. Caio made it 5-0 four minutes later with a stunning strike to the top corner.
Slovakia managed to pull a goal back in the 68th minute through Denis Vavro, but it only upset the Brazilians, who made it 6-1 with Mosquito grabbing his hat-trick 20 minutes from time. Brazil now sit comfortably at the summit of Group A after one game, while Slovakia will have a lot to think about with a rude awakening in their first U-17 World Cup match. Up next for the Brazilians is a meeting with hosts UAE on 20 October, the same day Slovakia take on Honduras.