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Endrick makes history as Brazil defeats England to begin a new era

LONDON: Brazil’s new manager Dorival Junior commenced his effort to revive the five-time world champions with a 1-0 victory against England, as teenage sensation Endrick scored his first international goal in Saturday’s friendly at Wembley. Emerging from their worst period in over 60 years, Brazil aims for a revival under Dorival Junior’s leadership, hoping to challenge for the 2026 World Cup. This win marks a significant step in the right direction for the Selecao, who secured victory on their manager’s debut against an England side expected to contend for the Euro 2024 title.

In a cathartic evening for Brazil after a dismal 2023, Endrick, highly-rated and set to join Real Madrid in July, scored Brazil’s late winner. Coming off the bench, his match-winning goal in the 80th minute defied England’s appeals for offside after Vinicius Junior’s shot was saved by Jordan Pickford. Aged 17 years and 246 days, Endrick became the youngest senior international goal-scorer at Wembley and the youngest player to score for Brazil since Ronaldo in 1994.

Dorival Junior remarked, “Time will tell how far he can go. We have to be calm and patient with him.” Endrick’s emergence signals hope for Brazil after a stagnant period. Tasked with securing Brazil’s World Cup qualification, Dorival Junior took charge in January amidst a challenging period, with Brazil finishing a year with more defeats than wins for the first time since 1963. Despite facing a nerve-wracking qualification battle, Brazil finds optimism in Vinicius Junior’s dynamic display, Endrick’s emergence, and the team’s resilient performances.

England manager Gareth Southgate praised Brazil’s performance, noting, “The difference was one moment of ruthlessness.” He highlighted Brazil’s quality in the attacking third and the technical prowess of their midfielders. While England’s performance lacked luster, Southgate found encouragement in the debut of Newcastle forward Anthony Gordon.

Brazil seeks to carry forward the momentum from their victory over England in their upcoming friendly against Spain on Tuesday. Meanwhile, England faces Belgium in their final opportunity for fringe players to impress before Southgate finalizes his Euro squad.- AFP

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