Glory for hosts in a tournament of discoveries|19-Nov-2019 10:43

-A Seleção win the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™
-Fourth title for Brazilians, second-most successful nation in competition’s history
-Gabriel Veron wins the adidas Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player

Parties do not come much more exciting than the one Brazil enjoyed on Sunday evening. The hosts won the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™ thanks to a goal three minutes into stoppage time to send a capacity crowd at the Estadio Bezerrao into raptures. To add to the title claimed by a side that won all seven of their matches, the Brazilians also celebrated an adidas Golden Ball for star man Gabriel Veron and an adidas Golden Glove for goalkeeper Matheus Donelli.

A Seleção moved to within one of Nigeria’s tournament record of five trophy wins thanks in small part to their ability to keep fighting to the end. Trailing 2-0 at half-time to France in the semi-finals, they came back to win it in the 89th minute, and they did it again in the final against Mexico, overturning a 1-0 deficit in the final six minutes. Supersub Lazaro was their hero of the hour, popping up to score dramatic late winners on both occasions.

Mexico proved tough opponents in Sunday’s showpiece match, so much so that they came within minutes of glory. After scraping through the group phase as one of the best third-placed teams, the Mexicans drew inspiration from their captain Eugenio Pizzuto, the gifted Efrain Alvarez and goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia to storm into the final, where they finished tournament runners-up for the second time in their history.

France, led by the brilliant Adil Aouchiche, who went from leading UEFA Under-17 European Championship goalscorer to leading Brazil 2019 provider with seven assists in total, achieved their second-best finish with third place. Only Brazil got the better of the boys in blue, defeating them in the semis. Nathanael Mbuku and Arnaud Kalimuendo-Muinga both ended the tournament with five goals each. The latter, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, struck a hat-trick against the Netherlands in the match for third place.