Distraught Brazil blame poor finishing for loss
Kolkata: Distraught Brazil players blamed poor finishing for the heart-breaking semifinal loss to England which ended their dreams of lifting the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time in 14 years.
England produced a masterclass performance to beat Brazil 3-1 in front of a shell-shocked crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium here last night to set up a first ever all-European summit clash on October 28 at the same venue.
Three-time champions Brazil last won the title in 2003.
They have gone without a title in the subsequent seven editions, including this one in India. They finished runners- up in 2005 and were fourth in 2011.
It was an emotional scene at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday night as several spectators among the 63,000-odd who turned up to watch the match cried after Brazil lost the match. Some players, including striker Lincoln, also broke down on the pitch.
Lincoln, another striker Paulinho and midfield maestro Alan Souza blamed the loss to lack of finishing touches in front of England goal.
"We played a great game but we missed scoring opportunities. England could score from their opportunities and that is why they won. That was the difference in the match," Alan, the fulcrum of most of the Brazil attacks, said.
"Our dream was to be the champion. We tried our best and we know we have reached our limits. We are sad but we have to now focus on the third place match (against Mali) and try to win another game of football," said the pocket dynamo wonderkid, who is reported to have signed a deal to move to Real Madrid B team from his current side Palmeiras next season.
Asked if he was satisfied with his performance, he said, "It was a good competition but I would have preferred to be perfect not just good and that could have happened if we would have won the title."
Star striker Paulinho agreed with Alan that shyness in front of England goal led to their loss in the semi-finals.
"We had our strategies for the match but we made mistakes mostly in front of goal. We did not score and also conceded goals. This was our mistake. Now we have to raise our heads up and think about the third place match (against Mali on October 28)," he said.
"We feel happy about the support we got from the fans here. But we are sad because we could not give them back by winning the title," said the Vasco da Gama player who has scored three goals from six matches.
Lincoln said England were the better team and they deserved to reach their maiden final. "Me, Paulinho and the others could not score and that was why we lost. If you don't score you will lose. We were prepared for all situations but England were better than us," said the Flamengo player, who has scored three goals from six matches.