Brazil beats Panama 4-0 to advance at U20 WCup
Philippe Coutinho’s two goals led Brazil to a 4-0 win over
Panama on Thursday and a place in the knockout stage of the
Under-20 World Cup.
Striker Henrique put Brazil ahead with a goal from close range
in the 40th minute, and Inter Milan’s Philippe Coutinho added to
the lead in first-half stoppage time, then again in the 52nd. Dudu
completed the scoring in the 89th with a shot from inside the
Brazil finished top of Group E with seven points from three
matches. Egypt beat Austria 4-0 and also finished with seven
points, but trailed Brazil on goal difference. Panama and Austria
were eliminated with one point each.
Brazil’s opponent in the second round will be either Saudi
Arabia or Nigeria. It will most likely be the Saudis, unless they
manage to beat the Africans in their last group game on
”We are improving in the competition and hopefully we will play
even better in the next round,” Brazil coach Ney Franco said. ”We
can’t make mistakes from now on.”
”We reached our goal, which was to advance to the second place
in first place. We were always in control.”
Panama held out for much of the first half before defensive
lapses in the closing moments.
Henrique gave Brazil the lead after striker Oscar got past two
defenders and the goalkeeper inside the area before feeding him the
ball for an easy goal from in front of the open net.
Philippe Coutinho doubled the advantage before the interval,
controlling a loose ball near the penalty spot and firing a shot
into the far corner.
He netted his second by controlling the ball with his thigh
inside the area and clearing a defender before and striking a
well-placed shot into the far corner.
The goals were Philippe Coutinho’s second and third in the
tournament, and in 20 minutes of game time, the contest had gone
from locked to effectively over.
Midfielder Dudu, who entered the match in the 18th to replace
Fernando, added the fourth with a low cross shot into the far
Brazil allowed some chances to Panama but was in control
throughout the match at the Metropolitano Roberto Melendez stadium
in the northern city of Barranquilla.
”I’m sad because this team had never allowed four goals,”
Panama coach Alfredo Poyatos said. ”But we played against a team
which is here to win this tournament and it showed.”
It was Panama which had the first significant chance in the
ninth when a free kick taken by Eric Davis went just wide.
Henrique had an opportunity for Brazil in the 18th, but his low
shot from inside the area just brushed the far post. Panama almost
took the lead in the 21st when Paul Cordero’s shot from close range
went over the bar, and striker Jose Alvarez had a goal correctly
disallowed for offside in the 23rd.
Philippe Coutinho was unmarked in front of the goal in the 30th
but couldn’t get the ball past Panama goalkeeper Luis Meija, and
Oscar missed an open net just two minutes later after getting past
Meija inside the area.
Brazil continued to dominate in the second half and had several
more chances. Casemiro struck the crossbar with a header just a few
minutes in, and the defensive midfielder also had a goal disallowed
for offside in the 63rd.
Panama Cecilio Waterman twice came close to a late goal, hitting
a powerful shot just wide in the 83rd and then hitting the crossbar
in the 85th.
Brazil, upset by Ghana in the final of the previous U20 World
Cup, is seeking its fifth world youth title. The team is without
young sensations Neymar and Lucas, who last month played with the
senior team at the Copa America, when Brazil was eliminated by
Paraguay in the quarterfinals.