Samba stars win their fifth U20 World Cup in Bogota with an late victory over the EuropeansBrazil have been crowned champions of the U20 World Cup thanks to a thrilling extra-time victory over Portugal. The South Americans got off to a flyer thanks to a Sergio Oliveira own goal, but strikes from Alex and Nelson Oliveira looked to have given the Europeans the title until Oscar equalised with minutes remaining, before finishing the tie in extra time.
Portugal had their hopes of a record 615 minutes without conceding smashed within five minutes, with Oscar swinging in a free kick that Sergio Oliveira put the ball past his own ‘keeper.
Brazil’s lead lasted just four minutes. Sergio Oliveira soon experienced a dramatic change in fortune, as the Beira-Mar midfielder atoned for his error with a defence splitting pass to Nelson Oliveira, who squared the ball to Alex, who was left with a tap-in to get his side on level terms.
The European side were not far off conceding another own goal before too long. An awkward bounce off Nuno Reis saw the ball hit the post, but as it was drifting over the line, Mika clawed the ball onto the bar and away from the goal. Henrique appealed that it had crossed the line, but replays indicated that the officials had made the right decision.
Brazil made a double substitution at half time as they went in search of a winner, but a quarter of an hour into the second period, the South Americans found themselves behind. Nelson Oliveira ran behind the Brazilian back-line, before shooting optimistically from a tight angle. It should have been a run-of-the-mill save for Gabriel, but the Cruzeiro stopper let the ball slip under his body and into the net.
Brazil threw on impact-substitute Dudu, and despite dogged defending from Portugal, the change worked well, as the Cruzeiro winger sent in a threatening cross, which Mika could only palm into Oscar’s path, who made no mistake from point blank range to confirm an extra half-hour.
The opening minutes of extra-time were more open than the end of normal time. Caetano ran clear of the Brazil defence, but couldn’t get past Gabriel, while Nuno Reis performed a superb intervention to deny Henrique from latching on to Allan’s cross.
Finally, the breakthrough came with ten minutes remaining. Oscar drifted out to the right before hitting an exquisite chip which drifted agonisingly over Miku to give the Brazilians the lead.
The goal was enough for Brazil to confirm their victory. Before too long, Danilo had to be withdrawn for Portugal due to injury, and depleted and missing a man could do nothing to stop their rivals from lifting the cup.