New Zealand edged out by Brazil

Brazil
Brazil knock out new Zealand

The New Zealand U-17 national team has begun its final preparations for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup by pushing Brazil all the way in a 2-1 friendly loss.
All the goals in the match were scored in the second half with Brenner netting early in the period and midway through it and the Kiwis reducing the margin through a penalty converted by captain Max Mata at the fag end of the game. Brazil impressed as was expected but New Zealand were not outclassed in the opening half. An early leg injury to defender Wesley proved a blessing in disguise for the South American champions as his replacement, Marcos Antonio, started to galvanize the team immediately after stepping on to the field.
The ‘Samba Boys’ were without talisman Vinicius Junior, who is not entering the camp until Saturday, and were nearly caught out early on as New Zealand came close to opening the scoring. Forward Charles found himself with a good opportunity in front of goal but was unable to convert and there were few other chances for the Kiwis in the remainder of the half.
Brazil flexed their muscles when Marcos Antonio fizzed a shot over the bar from just outside the area and New Zealand goalkeeper Jacob Clark was called on soon after to deny Brenner with a good save from a free kick.
A delightful passing bout between second half substitutes Alan de Souza and Victor Bobsin resulted in Brenner uncorking a short-range angular left-footed shot to beat rival goalie Jacob Clark. With Alan spraying passes left, right and centre from the midfield, Brazil started toying with the Kiwis and it was no wonder when the New Zealand citadel fell again, Brenner again finding the mark for his second goal of the match, midway through the second half. New Zealand got a consolation goal late in the match through a penalty award converted by their captain Mata. The Brazilians? only worry appeared to be the energy- sapping heat which seemed to affect a few players and a somewhat unsure defence which came under some pressure from the Kiwis but held on till the fag end when it conceded a penalty.
Although Brazil had done enough to claim the win, the two sides then engaged in a penalty shoot-out to ready themselves for that scenario arising in the knockout stages of the World Cup. The South Americans also triumphed from the spot, keeping their composure to win 5-4.
Hay was pleased to have given his players a hit out against such accomplished opposition.
Brazil are a world-class side and have players who will make it to a big level,’ he said.

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