Sunday 19 September 2021, 18:00

Matchday 8 review: Three through as Brazil and Portugal top groups

Jump to
  • Final matchday in Groups C and D

  • Vietnam, Czech Republic and Thailand go through

  • Early exit for Panama and Solomon Islands


Sunday 19 September Group C Solomon Islands 4-9 Thailand, Kaunas Portugal 3-3 Morocco, Klaipeda

Group D Brazil 5-1 Panama, Klaipeda Czech Republic 1-1 Vietnam, Kaunas



Ferrao proves human 
Being the best player in the world does not make you immune from missing the easiest of chances. Just ask Brazil’s Ferrao, who found himself alone and with the Panama goal at his mercy following a perfectly executed counter-attack and yet somehow managed to put the ball over the bar. Surely, he would not pass up such an opportunity again if it came his way. But he did, not once but twice, both in the second period. Played in once more at the end of another textbook counter, he contrived to lose the ball. And when a third gilt-edged opportunity later presented itself, an unmarked Ferrao shot wide from point-blank range.

Leonardo turns it on
 Though Ferrao had a day to forget, it did not prove much of a problem for a star-studded Seleçao side. Leandro Lino teed up the opener with a perfect pass into the path of Rocha, while Gadeia showcased his precision shooting to fire in the second. It was man-of-the-match Leonardo who scored the goal of the day, however, using the sole of his foot to great effect in a skilful dribble before drawing the Panama keeper and clipping the ball over him to put the Brazilians 3-0 up.

Over and out for Panama
 There were only 12 seconds remaining of the match when Panama coach Jose Botana called a time-out; a somewhat unusual decision given that his side were trailing 4-1 at the time and were out of the competition, having already lost their first two matches. Perhaps Botana was attempting to salvage some honour and ensure his charges went out on a high note. Whatever his thought process was, the short break did not work. Panama promptly gave the ball away when play resumed and looked on helplessly as Pito stroked it into an empty net to complete the scoring.

Walls prove no obstacle 
Already through to the next round, Portugal and Morocco met with top spot in Group C at stake. In an absorbing encounter, the two sides went at it goal for goal and even free-kick for free-kick. Morocco’s Anas El Ayyane took a clever one to make it 2-2. Delaying his shot for a split second as the three players in the Portugal wall dropped to the floor to block what they thought would be a low drive, he then clipped the ball over them and into the back of the net. Minutes later, Bruno Coelho scored from another free-kick to restore Portugal’s lead, making the most of a poorly positioned Morocco wall to clip the ball around it and into the top corner.

Vinicius, coach of Solomon Islands celebrates a goal

Joy and honour
 Thailand needed to beat Solomon Islands to make sure of a place in the last round, and Solomon Islands needed to beat Thailand to keep their slim qualification hopes alive. There was to be no miracle for the Kurukuru, who suffered a 9-4 defeat to go with 6-0 and 7-0 reverses in their first two games. Those four goals allowed them to save some face, however, and judging by the joyous reactions of players and coach to each of them, they made the long trip to Lithuania well worthwhile.

Happy with a point, for now
 Czech Republic and Vietnam went into their Group D meeting on three points each, knowing that a draw would take them both through. Both sides did all they could to win but a goal apiece – Doan Phat Chau scoring for the Asians and Lukas Resetar for the Europeans – ensured a share of the spoils and allowed the Czechs to take second place behind the untouchable Brazilians. Yet with Spain potentially waiting for the Czechs in the last 16 and RFU the possible opponents for the Vietnamese, their satisfaction at today’s result could be short-lived.


"We are so proud. We know we are going to be a better team in the future. With this experience, we will try and have a good programme now back home and I believe in my heart that we will improve and in the future we will be very strong." Solomon Islands captain Elliott Ragomo


Up next

Monday 20 September (local times displayed)

Group E Japan - Paraguay, Vilnius (18:00) Spain - Angola, Klaipeda (18:00) Group F Argentina - IR Iran, Vilnius (20:00) USA - Serbia, Klaipeda (20:00)