Rhian Brewster Hat-Trick Fires England Past Brazil in U-17 World Cup Semi-Final

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2017

Rhian Brewster of England scores a goal against Brazil during the semifinal football match in the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium in Kolkata on October 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Dibyangshu SARKAR        (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/Getty Images

Rhian Brewster scored his second hat-trick in as many games at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Wednesday, propelling England to a 3-1 win over Brazil and into the tournament final.

In a thrilling first period, Brewster netted two poacher's finishes either side of an equaliser from Brazil's Wesley.

After the break, the South American side applied pressure and missed chances to level things up for a second time. At the other end, the young Liverpool striker showed them how it's done, making it 3-1 late in the game and completing back-to-back trebles after his hat-trick against the United States in the quarter-finals.

England will find out who they face in Saturday's final later on Wednesday, as African champions Mali take on European champions Spain.

Against a side as talented as Brazil, England seemed keen to make their mark early on. After a bright beginning from the Selecao, the Three Lions showed how ruthless they could be in front of goal.

Brewster celebrates putting England ahead.
Brewster celebrates putting England ahead.Bikas Das/Associated Press

Callum Hudson-Odoi did brilliantly down the left side, angling a lovely ball into Brewster's path. The Liverpool man should have done better with his initial header, though he was alert when Gabriel Brazao parried the ball back into the danger area to prod England ahead. 

Here's a look at the opening goal, per Eurosport UK:

Even after a bright start from England, Brazil kept their composure, as they have done throughout the course of the tournament. And after dominating possession for a spell, the equaliser came.

At the end of some sharp passing, Paulinho crashed a shot towards goal that was too hot for Curtis Anderson to keep hold of. In the area, it was Wesley who reacted quicker than Joel Latibeaudiere to make it 1-1.

Per Scouted Football, Brazil were well worth their equaliser:

On the half-hour mark, it should have been even better for Brazil. Brenner found himself through on goal, yet he somehow guided his shot wide of the far post.

Brewster and England made them pay. After tidy work from Phil Foden and Steven Sessegnon, the striker had the simple task of tapping home from close range.

As noted by Squawka Football, the Liverpool man became the top scorer at the competition:

It was enough to give the Three Lions the lead at the end of a breathless half in punishing humidity for the young players.

In the second period, Brazil pushed on looking for another equaliser, making for a stretched game and some weary legs. 

Paulinho, in particular, was causing a lot of problems down the left flank and brought a safe from Anderson after 65 minutes. Lincoln then should have done much better when he got on the end of a dangerous cross, heading wide when well placed.

With 12 minutes to go, a cooling break was called, offering England a release from Brazilian pressure. From there they wrapped the match up, with Foden feeding Emile Smith Rowe to put one on a plate for Brewster with a pinpoint cross.

Brewster was too hot for Brazil to handle.
Brewster was too hot for Brazil to handle.Bikas Das/Associated Press

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe was clearly excited about what the England No. 9 has to offer:

Meanwhile, Daniel Storey of Football365 reflected on what was shaping up to be a memorable year for England's youth teams:

With the wind knocked out of Brazilian sails by Brewster, England were able to see out the remaining minutes of the game with relative ease.

Saturday's final will be a challenge for this side regardless of who wins the day's second semi-final. But with Brewster in stunning form, Foden pulling the strings and the whole team operating with a clear confidence, the Three Lions must be the big favourites to go all the way.

Related

    Chelsea Fans Loved Courtois Howler

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Chelsea Fans Loved Courtois Howler

    via mirror

    Belgium Win, but Courtois Hits Rock-Bottom

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Belgium Win, but Courtois Hits Rock-Bottom

    Rob Blanchette
    via Bleacher Report

    Inside Doncic's Love Affair with Real Madrid

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Inside Doncic's Love Affair with Real Madrid

    Richard Fitzpatrick
    via Bleacher Report

    Ronaldo Escapes UCL Ban

    Fined but not suspended for cojones celebration

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Ronaldo Escapes UCL Ban

    Fined but not suspended for cojones celebration

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report