BOGOTA: A hat-trick from Oscar lifted Brazil to a 3-2 extra-time triumph over Portugal in the under-20 World Cup final.
After opening the scoring in the fifth minute, Oscar struck a second-half equaliser that sent the match to extra-time after the teams were deadlocked 2-2 at the whistle. Oscar got the winner in the 111th minute, lofting a ball from the right that arched over Portugal goal-keeper Mika and gave Brazil a fifth under-20 World Cup title.
Although Brazil started as favourites over Portugal, the match was tightly contested throughout.
Oscar broke through in the fifth with a free kick that caught Mika napping. Nelson Oliveira set up Portugal’s equaliser with a cross that Alex fired home in the ninth minute.
Oliveira then put Portugal ahead in the 59th minute, breaking free on the right and running past a defender to beat Brazil goal-keeper Gabriel with an angled shot.
Brazil’s equaliser came in the 78th minute when Mika blocked a shot by Dudu, only for Oscar to turn and slot the ball home.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2011.