KOLKATA: England maintained their remarkable run in youth tournaments when a hat-trick from Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster inspired a 3-1 win over Brazil in Kolkata in the semi-finals of the Under-17 World Cup in India.
The 17-year-old Liverpool forward, who also netted a treble in the quarter-final win over the United States, broke the deadlock at the Salt Lake Stadium with a close-range finish on 10 minutes.
Brazil equalised on 21 through Wesley, but England regained the lead before half-time when Brewster was on hand to knock in a low cross from Fulham full-back Steven Sessegnon.
Brewster secured England’s place in Saturday’s final, where they will take on Spain, when he was set up by Manchester City winger Phil Foden with 14 minutes left.
The run from Steve Cooper’s side follows on from reaching the final of the European Championships in May and continues a summer of success by the England youth squads.
England Under-20s won the World Cup in South Korea and also the Toulon Tournament, while the under-19s lifted their version of the European Championship in Georgia in July.
The Young Lions, who won their three group games and then saw off Japan on penalties in the last 16, had started brightly in humid conditions.
Goalkeeper Curtis Anderson saved from Marcos Antonio, before England swept into the lead on 10 minutes.
Hudson-Odoi clipped the ball across the penalty area from the left, and Brewster turned it goalwards from point-blank range. Gabriel Brazao produced a fine reaction save, but the Liverpool teenager was first to the rebound.
Brazil, who had not conceded from open play before in the tournament, looked to respond when Alan sent the ball through the England area, but Vitao shot wide.
The South Americans were, though, level on 21 minutes when Wesley got ahead of England captain Joel Latibeaudiere to lash the ball past Anderson after the keeper had saved from Vasco da Gama forward Paulinho.
England regained the lead on 39 minutes after a sweeping move saw defender Sessegnon released down the right side of the penalty area on the overlap. Brewster was on hand to knock the ball in after the Brazil keeper could only palm the cross into his path.
The Young Lions continued their momentum into the second half, when Brewster headed over after being picked out at the back post by 16-year-old Hudson-Odoi.
Brazil remained dangerous, with Lincoln heading wide, but Brewster settled matters when he converted a low cross from the impressive Foden.