Dubai: Brazil’s CR Flamengo eased their way to a 3-0 win against PSV Eindhoven to top Group A and carry the Dutch side along with them into the semi-finals of the eighth Hamdan Bin Mohammad U16 International Football Championships that are being played at the Dubai Police Officers Club.
Touted favourites to win the eight-team competition, the Brazilians ended their preliminary round with three emphatic wins to top Group A with nine points, leaving PSV Eindhoven second with two wins and six points to finish clear of Egypt’s Al Ahli and local team Al Wasl.
Champions in the under-16 category in Brazil, Flamengo has been the team to watch following their solid performances from the start. They began with a 5-1 mauling of Al Wasl before stepping it up with an 8-0 rout of Al Ahli before ending with a third straight win on Saturday night against the Dutch youth.
Standing tall for the samba kings was Reinier Jesus Carvalho with a brace to take his tally to six goals in three matches and move to the top of the goalscorers’ list. His teammates — Pedro Arthur Bitencourt and Lazaro Vinicius Marques — currently are tied for second with four goals apiece.
The team from Brazil has been the side to watch as they have scored an amazing 16 goals and conceded just one in three matches played so far. They will now await the loser of the Group B match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund that was scheduled to be played later on Sunday.
The second semi-final spot went to PSV Eindhoven following their two earlier wins in the group — a hard-fought 2-1 result against Al Ahli followed by a 7-2 thrashing of Al Wasl. Fode Fofana has been the star for the Dutch after scoring an extra-time match-winner against the Egyptians and then finding the net twice in PSV’s 7-2 win over Al Wasl.
Former finalists Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are the other two semi-finalists from Group B, but the two teams were scheduled to play later on Sunday to decide who tops the group to earn the right to play PSV Eindhoven. The semi-finals will be played on Tuesday following a rest day on Monday. The third place play-off and final will be held on Thursday.
CR Flamengo 3 PSV Eindhoven 0