Mon, Jul 02, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Poles defeat Brazil at U20 World Cup

SURPRISE, SURPRISE Despite playing most of the match with only 10 men, Poland pulled off a shock win on the opening day of the U20 soccer World Cup in Canada


A sweeping free kick from Grzegorz Krychowiak helped Poland beat Brazil for the first time in over more than three decades.

The 17-year-old defender scored from 25m in the first half on Saturday as Poland shocked heavily favored Brazil in the opening match of the U20 World Cup.

"He is one of our future stars," Polish manager Michal Globisz said. "I am very happy. This is the first time in 34 years a Polish team has beaten Brazil, and it makes it better to do it in such an important tournament."

Other opening-day results on Saturday were North Korea 0, Panama 0; South Korea 1, US1; and Argentina 0, Czech Republic 0.

Brazil, a team filled with potential superstars, was unable to pierce the disciplined defensive shell put up by Poland after taking the lead.

"We felt we had more chances than our opponents, but we weren't able to penetrate their defense," Brazilian manager Nelson Rodrigues said. "Obviously, [the players] are sad, but we will use this to become stronger."

Bolstered by a heavy contingent of red-and-white clad supporters among the announced sellout crowd of 55,800 at Montreal's Olympic Stadium, Poland controlled much of the play early in the first half and pinned the Brazilians in their own half.

The pressure paid off in the 25th minute when Poland were awarded a free kick just outside the area and Krychowiak's strike inside the post beat Brazilian keeper Cassio.

The goal set off a celebration in the stands, which were barely half full at the time, as the chants of "Polska! Polska!" grew louder.

"This win was very important for the Polish federation," Glbisz said. "But also for the players, to do it in this atmosphere in front of so many supporters."

Poland's task became more difficult moments later, however, when forward Krzysztof Krol was sent off with his second yellow card after an aggressive tackle on Pato, forcing the Polish side to play a man short after the 27th minute.

Pato -- who is being pursued by some of the top clubs in Europe -- lived up to the advance billing, creating several quality scoring chances, but only one of his shots hit the net.

Even though Brazil spent most of the second half encamped in the Polish half and produced a series of chances, they rarely tested keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

South Korea 1, US 1

At Montreal, the US survived their opener against South Korea, prevailing thanks to Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

Midfielder Danny Szetela scored from an athletic header for the US while Shin Young-rok replied for South Korea, with both goals coming in the first half.

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