Andrey Santos once again captained Brazil as they picked up their first points of the Under-20 World Cup with an emphatic 6-0 win over Dominican Republic, but it was defeat for Italy and Cesare Casadei at the hands of Nigeria to leave Group D finely poised.
Brazil, who had lost 3-2 to Italy in their opening game, responded in style in Mendoza. Two goals shortly before half-time finally broke the Dominicans’ resistance, and the floodgates opened after the interval. A header from a corner and then three goals in the final 10 minutes added gloss to the scoreline against a side reduced to 10 men.
Santos, deployed in central midfield, was withdrawn on 65 minutes as the Brazilians began turning their attention to a decisive clash against Nigeria on Saturday.
The victory, Brazil’s first at the Under-20 World Cup in eight years, leaves them in second place in Group D, ahead of Italy on goal difference. However, with Italy playing the Dominicans last, Brazil know they will likely have to beat Nigeria to advance.
That is because the Flying Eagles defeated Italy 2-0 earlier on Wednesday night to make it two wins from two.
Casadei smashed a shot against the crossbar with the game goalless, but the Nigerians, a threat on the counter throughout, took the lead on the hour and doubled it four minutes into stoppage time.
Italy had 21 attempts but only four tested the Nigerian keeper with their resolute 4-5-1 shape paying off. Casadei, who like Santos captained his country, played the full 90 minutes.
Italy sit in third place with a goal difference now six inferior to Brazil. They will be trying to win big against the Dominicans on Saturday.