It seems unfair to reduce Brazilian football to the sum of its numbers. Yet, in the absence of ways to quantify finesse and emotion that the Selecao bring to international sport, bland numbers will have to suffice. At the end of play, the scoreline read 3-0 in favour of Brazil against Honduras in their round of 16 match of the Under-17 World Cup in Kochi. The South Americans had 72% of possession and completed 787 passes to 251 by their opponents. By any standard, this was a blowout.
Brazil now head to Kolkata where they play Germany in the quarterfinals. It remains to be seen what sort of opposition the Europeans provide for Brazil were never really challenged on Wednesday. Marcos Antonio's (44') goal was sandwiched between Brenner's brace (11' and 56'). There could well have been more.
Brazil, after asserting their dominance seemingly at will, seemed to lose interest in the game. After Brenner scored the final of the game and his third of the tournament, Brazil showed the intensity of a distracted older brother having a kickabout in the backyard with a still straining younger sibling.
Honduras were always expected to struggle against Brazil. The Central American side had only picked up a solitary win in the group stages- against New Caledonia - while conceding 11 goals in their other two games. Brazil on the other hand had not had a goal scored against them since the fifth minute of their opening game against Spain - a match they would come from behind to win.
Still, it was Honduras who had the first action of the match but Gearson Chavez' long ranger would be symptomatic of their attempts on goal for the rest of the night. There was only one moment in which the Brazilian defence would be shown up - in the 32nd minute when Louis Palma's run from the right ended with him snapping a right footer into the post. Carlos Meija would also hit the post with a long ranger in the 70th minute, but the effort was more of a Hail Mary.
Brazil, meanwhile, did what they have done all through the tournament. They were all over the Honduras midfield, and their forwards regularly got past the defence. Brazilian right-back Wesley had a great time early on in the early stages, breaking forward and sending in perfectly weighted crosses. Both Brenner and Paulinho had chances early before Alan played a one-two with Wesley and passed to Brenner for the finish.
Alan continued to have a great game, feeding Paulinho just outside the box before the latter passed to Antonio who shot past Honduran keeper Alex Rivera for his first goal of the tournament. A 2-0 lead at the break soon became 3-0 when Brenner found himself with the ball after Rivera had brought down both himself and Paulinho in the box in the 55th minute. The signs were ominous with Brazil seemingly threading the Honduran defence with effortless ease.
With the victory all but assured, Brazil opted to switch off. They were rarely in any danger yet never really committed to scoring again. Alan was substituted in the 66th minute while Wesley followed him eight minutes later. Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu clearly had Germany on his mind. This game against an outclassed Honduras would at best be a warm-up before that blockbuster of a match in Kolkata.