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Brazil pip Portugal to U-20 World Cup title

"I'm very proud," said Portugal captain Nuno Reis after his side missed out on a third FIFA U-20 World Cup crown in Colombia, losing the final 3-2 to Brazil after a hat-trick from Oscar.

Brazil enjoy their FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph
Brazil enjoy their FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph ©AFP

Portugal were denied a third FIFA U-20 World Cup title in Colombia on Sunday after Oscar fired a hat-trick to earn Brazil a 3-2 comeback win in the final of the 2011 edition, the SC Internacional midfielder completing his treble with nine minutes remaining in extra time.

Oscar had originally put Brazil ahead after five minutes, but 1989 and 1991 winners Portugal responded soon after and went ahead through Nélson Oliveira just before the hour. It was not enough for victory, however, as Oscar made Brazilian pressure tell with 12 minutes remaining before delivering the final blow to win his side the trophy.

Having reached this rematch of the 1991 decider without conceding a goal, Portugal suffered an early setback in Bogota as Oscar's free-kick was deflected into his own net by Sérgio Oliveira. Ilídio Vale's side did not take long to respond, though, and it was Alex who levelled the scores from close range after SL Benfica forward Nélson Oliveira had escaped down the right.

Brazil threatened to regain the lead almost immediately as Danilo forced Mika into a splendid save, but Portugal held firm and went ahead after Nélson Oliveira broke free once again. With no team-mates joining him, he tried his luck from a tight angle and squeezed a shot beneath Gabriel for his fourth goal of the tournament.

The Brazil No1 did better to deny Nélson Oliveira a second from a solo effort, while at the other end the South Americans looked to their turn their territorial domination into a goal. They finally did just that when Mika parried a shot from substitute Duda and Oscar pounced from close range.

That took the match into extra time and, with tiredness playing a role for both teams, Portugal missed the chance to nudge back in front when substitute Caetano failed to beat Gabriel in a one-on-one situation. Ultimately it fell to Oscar to have the last word, his cross-shot from the right sailing over Mika to end Portuguese hopes.

"I have to congratulate my players as we've had an excellent World Cup," said Portugal coach Vale afterwards. "We weren't the favourites [in the final]. Physical condition was the key to the match in the end, as I had three players who were very tired. Brazil were good winners. We had chances to end the game but couldn't score. This World Cup has revealed the talents of Mika, Danilo and Nélson Oliveira, proving that there's talent in Portugal for the future."

Portugal captain Nuno Reis added: "We wanted to become champions. It was a unique day in our lives, a dream come true, but that's football. I want to congratulate Brazil but also my own team. I'm very proud." There was some consolation for the runners-up with Mika winning the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper, while Nélson Oliveira finished behind Brazil's Henrique in the Golden Ball vote for best player. In the match for third place, Mexico defeated France 3-1.

Turkey will stage the next finals in 2013, for which the 2011/12 European U19 Championship in Estonia will act as qualifier.