The final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 will pit ex-champions versus one another. Thursday’s semi-final results in Brasilia have produced a weighty showpiece set to feature three-time winners Brazil and North American juggernauts Mexico, who hold two titles of their own.
The early encounter at Estadio Bezerrao saw El Tri go toe-to-toe with European holders the Netherlands. The match concluded 1-1 in regulation time, with the Dutch pulling ahead in the 74th minute before Efrain Alvarez’s curling free-kick emphatically brought Mexico level five minutes later.
Alvarez nearly went from hero to zero when he missed the first spot-kick of the shootout.
Chelsea’s Ian Maatsen converted his penalty to give the Dutch the lead. Mexico scored their next three kicks, while Netherlands missed twice, but Joel Gomez so his effort stopped denying Mexico a win in the normal shootout. The match went to sudden death and Victor Guzman gave Mexico the lead. Goalscorer Yuri Regeer missed his penalty to confirm Netherlands’ elimination.
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Goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia’s three stops in the penalty shoot-out cemented his side’s fourth appearance in the final.
Hosts Brazil were forced to play catch-up versus France when Arnaud Kalimuendo-Muinga and Nathanael Mbuku each scored inside the opening quarter-hour.
Bolstered by a buzzing crowd, A Seleção grew into the game and equalised through Veron in the 76th minute. Then substitute Lazaro blasted the hosts ahead in the 89th minute, ensuring they earn the opportunity to contest a World Cup final on home soil.
Brazil and Mexico will now face each other at the Estadio Bezerrao in Gama on November 18, where the winner of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup will be crowned.
Brazil is seeking its fourth crown in the tournament, and first since 2003. It also won in 1997 and 1999. Mexico is trying for its third U17 crown after wins in 2005 and 2011.
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