Mumbai: Brazil U-17 football coach Carlos Amadeu may already have a lot of attacking firepower at his disposal currently, but the Brazilian tactician is already undergoing a selection headache, even without the presence of star forward Vinicius Junior, 10 days before the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off.
The coach was content with the fact the competition was for a healthy cause and that he wanted to stimulate it ahead of their challenging campaign.
“We do not have a fixed eleven. We want this competition between the, but this has to be with loyalty, respect and with this feeling of togetherness” Amadeu said after his boys triumphed over New Zealand 2-1 in their first practice match at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday.
Brenner da Silva, who almost donned the false no.9 role for the South American side scored a brace as the Brazilians dominated the proceedings throughout the game.
The Selecao faced an injury scare early on during the first half as centre-back Wesley limped off with a leg injury, but the Brazil boss says he expected the opposition to get physical.
“I was not surprised as New Zealand have a strong and contact style of play. And our players were advised to avoid contact. But it happens. We will have to wait and see the doctor’s report about Wesley’s leg injury,” said the Brazilian boss.
The Brazilians boast one of the best-talented bunch of players that make them favourites for the tournament, but Amadeu quickly dismissed the tag, hinting all the qualified teams possess the same quality.
“We are not the favourites, but we are here to compete and will definitely try to win the competition,” he added.
Boys gave everything they could
New Zealand coach Danny Hay seemed pleased with the way his boys made things tough for the Men in Yellow despite the opposition having an upper hand.
“Brazil had more possession and for most of the match we were chasing but we limited them to not many open chances. We created a couple of good openings upfront, but we got to be a little more clinical. At times we looked dangerous going forward. At this level, we can’t suppose to miss these type of chances. But I am really happy with the work ethics of my boys, and their attitude. They’ll take a lot of heart from the defeat,” Hay said.
The former Leeds United defender also pointed out that they could improve their game in many ways.
“One field where we can getter better is when we have been under pressure for a certain amount of time, is having the ability to maintain possession ourselves and make them work hard for it, ” the former Kiwi defender stated.
“The two goals we conceded, from our perspective, we shouldn’t have conceded those. Its just switching off mentally under fatigue and not tracking runners. But I can’t fault our boys, they gave everything they could and I’m proud of the effort they put. For a nation of 5 million people and a rugby-obsessed one, I don’t think we played too badly. ” Hay explained.
The Samba Boys will now travel to Kochi as they gear up for their opener against Spain while the All Whites will put their potential to test once again when they face England in another practice game on Sunday.