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Spain denied at final hurdle

Published: Friday 19 December 2003, 22.58CET
Spain 0-1 Brazil A late winner sees Spain pipped in the FIFA World Youth Championship final.
Published: Friday 19 December 2003, 22.58CET

Spain denied at final hurdle

Spain 0-1 Brazil A late winner sees Spain pipped in the FIFA World Youth Championship final.

Spain 0-1 Brazil
A late Fernandino goal condemned Spain to a narrow defeat by Brazil in the 14th FIFA World Youth Championship final in Abu Dhabi.

Early red card
Spain, aiming to win back the trophy they claimed in 1999, had a disastrous start as defender Juan Andreu 'Melli' was dismissed in only the fourth minute for a foul on Nilmar. Moments later Spanish goalkeeper Riesgo launched himself to spectacularly tip a Daniel Alves overhead kick onto the crossbar as Brazil upped their stakes.

Strong free-kick
Brazilian captain Adailton was the next to hit the bar with a header on 28 minutes, and Alves then went close again with a swerved free-kick. However, after the break Spain raised their game, and Víctor Añino 'Vitolo' sent in a strong free-kick that Brazil goalkeeper Jefferson did well to stop.

Late goal
After having already forced a save from Jefferson and seen Kleber miss a one-on-one at the other end, Spain striker Sergio García seemed to have put his team ahead with 16 minutes left, only for his low shot to be ruled out by referee Roberto Rosetti. And in the 87th minute it was Brazil that claimed the game as substitute Fernandinho headed in from a corner.

Fourth triumph
The goalscorer received a late red card for time-wasting, but the trophy was Brazil's for the fourth time - equalling Argentina's record - while Spain were left feeling as they had in 1985, when they also lost by a single goal in the final against the same nation.

'Absolute joy'
After the game, Spanish coach Armando Ufarte paid tribute to "the dedication and self-esteem displayed by my boys." His opposite number, Marcos Paquetá, said: "I am not happy about the team's performance, but all that has all been erased by the absolute joy this triumph gives us. Having said that, we must congratulate Spain for the huge effort they put in."

Last updated: 22/12/03 13.56CET

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