AGENCIES FATORDA, 7th Oct: Noah Awuku scored a late winner as Germany defeated a spirited Costa Rica 2-1 in their Group C match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.
Awuku (89th minute) scored right at the end to hand the Germans a rather unconvincing victory in the first match of their campaign. Prior to that the Costa Ricans seemed to have done enough to grab a well earned draw with Andres Gomez's (64th) second half equaliser cancelling out a first half goal from German striker Jann-Fiete Arp (21st).
Both teams were equally matched right from the start before Arp, the top scorer at this year's European U-17 Championship, handed the lead to the Germans. Elias Abouchabaka capitalised on a defensive mistake by the Costa Ricans to find Arp with a superb pass. The German striker kept his cool to chip the ball over Costa Rica goalkeeper Ricardo Montenegro.
The Germans enjoyed the greater share of ball possession thereafter and created several more chances before the break. Costa Rica managed to stage a come back in the second half when Gomez capitalised on a pass from Josue Abarca to find the equaliser against the run of play.
The Germans continued to dominate with repeated attacks on the rival citadel but the Costa Ricans held them off with some stout defending. Awuku however, earned the full three points for Germany with a calm finish following an error by Costa Rica defender Fernan Faerron.
Brazil defeated Spain 2-1 in a Group D match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup football tournament at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. Spain had taken the lead in the 5th minute through an own goal by Brazil's Wesley. The South American champions however, recovered to strike back through Lincoln (25th) and Paulinho (45'+1).
Brazil, who have won this tournament thrice, now have three points from one match. Spain enjoyed the better start in the battle of the two title contenders with Mohamed Moukhliss' attempt from close range off a low cross from Ferran Torres taking a deflection off Wesley before finding the net.
Brazil gradually recovered from the early setback and started to put pressure on the Spanish defence. They were rewarded for their efforts when Alan Souza dribbled into the Spanish penalty box from the right and produced a back pass which was parried by Spanish goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez . Lincoln however, was on hand to tap home the rebound.
The South Americans took the lead in the first half added time when Paulinho latched on to a fine through from Marcos Antonio before beating Fernandez with rising finish. It was an equal battle in the second half with both teams enjoying their fair share of chances.
Spain's best chance of the second half fell to Sergio Gomez in the 56th minute but Brazil goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao was equal to the challenge. In other matches, Iran registered a convincing 3-1 win over Guinea, while Niger pulled off a hard-fought 1-0 victory over DPR Korea.