This was the first time India have played the Samba Kings at any level.
When was the last time India clashed swords against five-time World Champions Brazil in Football in any age group? You try to find out by flipping the pages of the history books, but the books state ‘never’.
And even as India went down fighting 3-1 against Brazil in their last match of the BRICS U-17 Football Tournament at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on October 13, 2016 history had been written, as India hosted the South American nation for the first time in their Footballing history and proved that Nicolai Adam’s boys were no pushovers, ensuring their competitiveness.
History apart, on the pitch, the difference between the 5 time World Champions and the hosts was rather very minute and even as the hosts made a statement of their character and never-say-die attitude, the opponents prevailed.
In the 2nd minute itself Brazil took the lead as Brenner Silva’s shot from outside of the box crashed home to cause a setback to Indian hopes for an upset against one of the World powers of Football.
Seldom deterred and with the crowd on its back, the Nicolai Adam’s boys attacked with vigour and in the 19th minute, Komal Thatal scored the equalizer as he cut in from the left flank and unleashed a curling shot which ended in the back of the Brazilian goal to make it 1-1.
The equalizing goal rejuvenated the Indian squad, and the Colts hunted their opponents in packs like wolves – pressing when needed, dropping deep when defending and attacking when required.
Determined and confident, the Indian midfield compressed the area in the middle, while the Indian defence pushed up high to catch the Brazilian attackers offside – two times in less than five minutes. But the Indian rejuvenation was cut short and Brazil regained their lead in the 30th minute through Marcos Santos’s strike.
A minute later, India were denied a penalty shout as Komal was brought down inside the Brazilian box. The Colts picked themselves up as the match progressed even after conceding an early goal and at the half-way point Brazil lead 2-1.
The game was largely contested in the midfield in the opening minutes of the second half. But in the 66thminute substitute Joysana Singh robbed Brazil off possession and burst onto goal. Joysana cut inside the Brazil box, but instead of shooting, he tried to find an onrushing Aman Chetri. The Brazilian defence proved a little too clever and cleared the ball away.
Ten minutes later, Joysana Singh gave the Brazilians a scare as his shot from outside of the box came inches close to equalizing the proceeding for India.
In the 82nd minute Brazil scored through Vinicius Oliviera to double their lead and wrap up the match as the full-time scoreline read 3-1.
India’s starting XI against Brazil: Mohammad Nawaz (GK); Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Mohamad Rakip; Sanjeev Stalin, Suresh Singh (C), Amarjit Singh, Aman Chetri (80’ – Narendar), Komal Thatal, Aniket Jadhav (90+1′ – Rajil Saji), Lalengmawia (64’ – Joysana Singh).