- Twin friendlies whet Goiania’s appetite for FIFA U-17 World Cup
- Estadio da Serrinha hosted first of two Brazil-Chile fixtures
- Second friendly took place at Estadio Olimpico on Saturday
With just over two months to go until the start of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019, Goiania got a taste of the atmosphere the global showpiece will bring thanks to the first of two friendlies at the two stadiums being used by the city for the tournament.
Brazil and Chile's U-17 teams squared off on Thursday in a keenly contested encounter that the locals won 2-1. The venue for the friendly was the Estadio da Serrinha, where Chile will kick off their Brazil 2019 campaign against France on 27 October.
The hosts took full advantage of their scoring opportunities, with almost-identical interceptions by forwards Reinier and Joao Peglow leading to one-on-ones with Chilean keeper Julio Fierro and resulting in goals. Cesar Perez got a consolation for the visitors after steering a delightful volley into the top-left corner of Marcelo's goal.
"We want to represent Brazil, the home of football, in the best way possible," coach Guilherme Dalla Dea said after the game. "I implore our fans the get behind the U-17 World Cup, which is crucial for our players' development, who will be in the first team in the near future."
Despite defeat, the game helped Chile take a step closer to kick off in ten weeks' time. "We are preparing ourselves on a daily basis in order to reach the U-17 World Cup in a good shape," Chile captain Luis Rojas reflected. "We're playing our football and we are reaching good results.”
As well as allowing the stadium to fine-tune its operations and the teams to continue their World Cup preparations, Thursday’s event also had a charitable component. Each ticket could be exchanged for a kilo of food for the benefit of the Goias Volunteer Organisation, which works with the Goias Government State to provide social assistance.
The same ticket-exchange activation took place on Saturday 17 August, when the two teams played a second friendly, this time at the Estadio Olimpico, where the city’s opening U-17 World Cup fixture will be played on 26 October. Brazil ran out 3-1 winners with Reinier bagging a brace and Gabriel Veron also finding the net.
Between them, the two stadiums will stage a total of 18 World Cup matches, including four last-16 fixtures and two quarter-finals.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 will be played in Goiania, Brasilia (Gama) and Vitoria (Cariacica) between 26 October and 17 November.