Kochi: Forward Brenner hit a brace as title favourites Brazil maintained their winning streak by outplaying Honduras 3-0 to set up a potentially high-octane quarterfinal clash against Germany in the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Wednesday.
Seeking their fourth title, Brazil have been living up to the expectations by winning all their group matches and on Wednesday they just brushed aside the challenge of Honduras with an overwhelmingly dominating display in the pre-quarterfinal clash.
Brenner struck in the 11th and 56th minutes while Marcos Antonio scored the other goal in the 44th minute as Brazil notched up their biggest win of the tournament. They had beaten Spain (2-1), North Korea (2-0) and Niger (2-0) to top Group D.
With the crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium overwhelming supporting the Brazilians, Honduras attack were few and far between though they hit the goalpost twice, once in each half.
Honduras had scored at least a goal in their three Group E matches but today they were unable to do it.
Brazil will now travel to Kolkata to take on Germany in the quarterfinals on October 22. Germany had produced a clinical performance while beating Colombia 4-0 in the pre- quarterfinals on October 16 in New Delhi.
Attacking midfielder Alan, who sat out of Brazil’s final group game against Niger as a precautionary measure after receiving a yellow card in the previous match, returned today and set up the first goal for the South American champions.
He cut into the Honduras box from the right and had a one-on-one with Wesley before releasing the ball for Brenner to calmly slot it past the goalkeeper for his second goal of the tournament.
Brazil continued their domination with their quick passing football and they had two chances very soon but Paulinho and Alan’s shots were save by Honduras goalkeeper Alex Rivera in the 14th and 21st minutes.
Honduras were denied an equaliser against the run of play in the 32nd minute as Luis Palma’s shot from a difficult angle on the right side of the box beat the goalkeeper but hit the upright.
Brazil doubled the lead just before half time with midfielder Marcos Antonio scoring his first goal of the tournament with a deft left footer off a beautiful Paulinho through pass which sliced open the Honduras defence.
Honduras coach Jose Valladares brought in Kenneth Martinez and Joshua Canales after half time in search of goals but Brazil did not put their feet off the pedal and made the scoreline 3-0 in the 56th minute.
Wesley did all the spadework as he cut into the right side of the Honduras box and his tussle with a defender resulted to the ball landing nicely for Brenner to fire in an opportunistic strike for his second goal of the match and third of the tournament.
In the 70th minute, Honduras were again denied a consolation goal as Carlos Mejia hit the left post with a left-footed shot from outside the box.
With inputs from agencies.