Dubai: Brazilian side Flamengo have promised to keep their foot on the pedal despite a 11-0 mauling of Hatta to set up a semi-final appearance against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai at the Ninth Dubai International U-16 Football Championship.
Flamengo rode on a fine hat-trick from Werton De Almeida Rego while another eight of his teammates joined him on the scoresheet as the Brazilians continued their dominance in this weeklong competition. Flamengo have so far scored a total of 18 goals in just three matches without conceding even once to make them the top favourites for a second consecutive crown in Dubai.
“We don’t go on what happened in the past. We are here to face this moment and decide what we want to achieve as a team, one game at a time,” Flamengo coach Mario Jorge told Gulf News.
“For us, it really doesn’t matter which team is on the opposite side of the pitch. Our players know that they have to go out there, stick around as a team, help each other and get the result needed,” he added.
Led by skipper Diego Damaceno’s sixth minute strike, the Brazilians continued their hold on the match with Rego finding two of his three goals in the 21st and 24th minutes. And then Leoni Schmidt Pereira Gastaldelo’s easy tap-in in the 41st minute gave them a handy 4-0 cushion at half-time. “I was not happy with the way we played towards the end of the first half. I gave the players a tough talk during half-time and asked them to follow the Flamengo way,” coach Jorge related.
And the Brazilians responded well by pumping in another seven goals past a hapless Hatta, who could do very little in keeping the fleet-footed samba boys in check. “We are here to play good football and win matches on our terms. For us it doesn’t matter who our opponents are, we will continue with the same intensity as in the last three matches,” he promised.
“Yes, there is always the danger that we may get a bit complacent after such huge wins. But we have taken enough precaution to ensure that doesn’t happen and our players give off their best,” Jorge added.
While the defending champions from Brazil take on the local side in the first semi-final, debutants Atletico Madrid booked their place in the second semi-final against former champions Al Hilal following a 3-0 win against Al Nasr in the final group match.
Flamengo 11 Hatta 0
Atletico Madrid 3 Al Nasr 0
Al Hilal v Atletico Madrid, 4.45pm
Flamengo v Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, 7.30pm