- Brazil, Nigeria and Angola become the first teams to qualify for the knockout stage
- Australia and Hungary share the spoils
- Goals galore (15) in the second round of matches in Groups A and B
Matchday 4 of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™ saw three nations – Brazil and Angola in Group A, and Nigeria in Group B – qualify for the last 16 after securing their second victory in a row.
The two African teams were the first to procure a berth in the next round, and both left it late before doing so. Trailing 2-1 to Ecuador with five minutes to go, the Golden Eaglets, in a repeat of the scenario played out in their opening match against Hungary, managed to turn things around completely, scoring the winner in the 89th minute. As for the Palanquinhas, they waited until the fourth minute of stoppage time to claim all three points against Canada, David slamming the ball home from close range.
Much to the delight of the fans in attendance at the Estadio Bezerrao in Brasilia, the ten-man hosts also booked a spot in the knockout phase later in the evening, defeating New Zealand 3-0 via goals from Kaio Jorge, Talles Magno and Diego. Elsewhere, Hungary and Australia both kept their chances alive after an entertaining 2-2 stalemate. Noah Botic had promised that the Joeys would give their all, and that was clear to see in Goiania, as they fought back from two goals down to claim a valuable point.
📌 Memorable moments
The first Nigerian hat-trick in this tournament was scored by Nkwankwo Kanu 26 years ago, while the last one, notched by Victor Osimhen, occurred just two years before. On Tuesday, Ibrahim Said became the seventh Golden Eaglet to hit the back of the net three times in a U-17 World Cup match – more than any other nation. One more goal would have seen him equal another record, that of goals scored in a single game, held jointly by another Nigerian (Kelechi Iheanacho, who tallied four times against Mexico at UAE 2013), but helping his team to qualify for the Round of 16 will likely satisfy him for now. “I just want to make my country proud of the team,” the midfielder told FIFA.com after the match.
Evidence of a party
In an Estadio Bezerrao that was packed to the rafters, Brazil fans joyously celebrated the hosts’ qualification for the next round at the final whistle. In fact, they had already got in some singing practice at half-time: when the Brazilian classic “Evidencias” by Chitaozinho & Xororo was played over the loudspeaker system, the supporters present joined in at the top of their voices, and brought out their mobile phones to provide a memorable sound and light show.
Female referees overseeing male tournament matches has become a fairly common sight, but a team of three officiating at a World Cup encounter is worth noting. The experienced Claudia Umpierrez (Uruguay) was the woman in charge of Angola-Canada, and she was ably assisted by Luciana Mascarana (Uruguay) and Monica Amboya (Ecuador). The fourth official, however, was male (Diego Haro, Peru).