Scintillating comeback secures Brazil berth in final
Brazil come from behind to edge France 3-2 at Estadio Bezerrao
Three second-half goals punctuated an inspired comeback
The hosts will face Mexico in the final on 17 November
Brazil cemented a place in their sixth FIFA U-17 World Cup™ final on Thursday in dramatic fashion, coming from two goals behind to top France 3-2 in Brasilia. After conceding twice in the opening quarter-hour, the tournament hosts clawed their way back into the action. Veron tucked away a rebound off France goalkeeper Melvin Zinga in the 76th minute to knot the match at two goals apiece, then substitute Lazaro struck the winning goal a minute before second-half stoppage time. Now only Mexico separate Brazil from their fourth title at this level. The two sides will square off on Sunday 17 November at Estadio Bezerrao.
Blitzed by their European foes early in the first half, Brazil did well to regain focus and gradually take control of the proceedings. Kaio Jorge's headed goal in the 62nd minute confirmed on the scoreboard what was already evident on the field: the hosts were back in the match. Fourteen minutes later it was Veron with the equaliser. Lazaro's match-winner was assisted by none other than goalkeeper Matheus Donelli, whose booming goal kick bounced all the way to No20 five yards from the top of the box, and he did the rest. Now Brazil will have a chance to redeem their defeat in the 2005 final to Mexico.
Fifteen minutes into the match, it looked as if France might put away Brazil the same way they did Australia and Spain earlier in the knockout phase. First Adil Aouchiche spotted Arnaud Kalimuendo-Muinga carving out space at the top of the box, and the pass, first touch and finish came in rapid succession. Nathanael Mbuku doubled Les Bleuets’ advantage in the 13th minute, splitting two defenders and ripping a low shot from 12 yards into the back of the net. But from there, France would slowly watch the lead slip from their grasp, and their tournament winning streak comes to an end at five matches.
17 November Third-place match [[flag-ned-xs]] Netherlands-France [[flag-fra-xs]] (Brasilia, 15:00 local time) Final [[flag-mex-xs]] Mexico-Brazil [[flag-mex-xs]] (Brasilia, 19:00 local time)
France v Brazil - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 - Brazil fans celebrat
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 14: Brazil fans celebrate during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 semi-final match between France and Brazil at Estadio Bezerrao on November 14, 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
France v Brazil - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 - Veron of Brazil celebrates scoring an equalising goal
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 14: Veron of Brazil celebrates scoring an equalising goal during the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 semi-final match between France and Brazil at Estadio Bezerrao on November 14, 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)