x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Maicon double helps the favourites sink Germany

Super-sub Maicon carried Brazil into the semi-finals of the Under 20 World Cup with two invaluable late strikes against Germany in Cairo last night.

CAIRO // Super-sub Maicon carried Brazil into the semi-finals of the Under 20 World Cup with two invaluable late strikes against Germany in Cairo last night. Maicon first struck the equaliser two minutes from time after Lewis Holtby had given the Germans a 73rd-minute lead. Then, in the opening seconds of extra-time, he scored the winner to book Brazil, the competition favourites, a meeting with the winner of last night's quarter-final between UAE and Costa Rica.

The late comeback broke the Germans' resolve and they looked a very different side from the one who had started the game. The Germans had the better of the early exchanges with Lars Bender and Semih Aydilek both getting a chance to score. Bender cannoned the ball high over the bar in the fifth minute. Five minutes later, Aydilek, with just the Brazilian goalkeeper Rafael to beat, flicked the ball tamely straight at him him.

The South Americans' best chance of the first half came in the 31st minute, when Alan Kardec played a neat one-two with Giuliano, but his finishing lacked direction. Then Richard Sukuta-Pasu tested Rafael with a shot from the edge of the box seconds before half-time whistle. The German tactic of attacking on the break finally bore fruit 28 minutes into the second half when Holtby headed home Aydilek's cross.

The European champions then tried to defend their lead, but Maicon scored the equaliser two minutes from time. @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae