LINUS LINDAHL / AIPS in ABU DHABI*: Brazil’s coach was suspended but that did not bother his players, who opened the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with a 6-1 win over newcomers Slovakia.
Alexandre Gallo could not guide his team from the touchline after having been sent off in the last qualifying tie against Paraguay. He was suspended for one game but will be back for the next game against the host United Arab Emirates.
Brazil demonstrated their potential in seeking the nation’s fourth U-17 World Cup and assistant coach Mauricio Copertino was a happy man.
He said: “Brazil performed very well today. They did everything Alexandro Gallo told them to do.”
Two players stood out above the rest for Brazil: Mosquito claimed a hat-trick and his Atletico Paranaense team-mate Nathan scored two.
Copertino said: “They are both strong individually and and together they’re strong. They are good for their club and the national team.”
Copertino said he was aware of the high expectation of his team but cautioned that the tournament had only just began: “The players of this generation are almost all professionals in Brazil and playing for their first teams. They had talked about what they have to do and they are proving it right now in the competittion.
“They know they haven’t won anything yet and they have to respect the other teams.”
Caio scored the other goal for Brazil, whose next game will be more difficult against the UAE hosts.
Ladislav Pecko, coach of a Slovak side whose consolation goal came from Denis Vavro, did not have the start he wanted, stating: “I’m happy that the beginning is over. This was a lesson we had to learn and now we can go forward.”
* This article appeared first on AIPSMedia.com, the website of the international sports journalists association which is running a Young Reporters course in UAE with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA