Kolkata: England rode on a hat-trick by Liverpool youth team striker Rhian Brewster to storm into their maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup final in front of a 63000-odd partisan crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium.
“The feeling is pride and satisfaction. We did it the way we wanted to do it. We had to fight for the moments. We are really proud of the result and performance. That’s really the message,” Cooper said at the post-match press conference.
“It’s about playing our way. You have seen that in every game we have been quite identifiable. We want to play with purpose, dominate possession, play forward and get the ball back as quick as we can. That’s always our plan. Any good team stick to their plan. It’s just another example today.
“We will never change our style or way. Whoever we play we can be a match and play better than the opposition. We have to work hard for that,” he added. He said he was proud of the character and mentality his players showed and also praised the ‘England DNA’ — a Football Association’s project to develop world class footballers.
“We are a part of the process, they go hand in hand. I hope the best is yet to come. There’s not a bigger game they can play than the World Cup final at their age. They will play the ultimate game now, a World Cup final which is fantastic for the country and an amazing recognition of what the clubs and academies are doing, what we are tying to do with ‘DNA’ at St George’s Park.
“It’s part of a long term process. We are going to enjoy the moment, come back here and ready to go in a few days. Maybe the crowd will be behind us,” Cooper said. “It was a joke by the way,” he added sarcastically, as he knew that the 63,000-odd crowd were mostly Brazil supporters.
“It was good to see a round of applause from 60,000 Brazilian fans,” Cooper quipped. “They appreciated good players in every game. It was a nice moment for him (Foden). He gave his all and made a difference. But a lot of players made the difference especially our defenders as well.”
Graceful in defeat, Brazil chief coach Carlos Amadeu said they played well but only to lose to a better side. “England were better today. They made opportunities and scored. England deserved to win. We had our opportunities in first-half. We made a good game and could not score all the opportunities that came our way,” Amadeu said.
The Brazilian coach, however, backed his boys for showing the fighting spirit to restore parity through Wesley’s 21st minute strike.
“After they scored first we still could keep the balance and equalised. We got many chances to make 2-1 but we could not go past them. The fact today was both teams could win but we failed against a really great team.”
Brazil once again found themselves at home with a vast majority fans from the 63,000-plus attendance supporting the boys in yellow.
“It was a pleasure for us. It was really a great experience for these players. We had a good match but England were better,” Amadeu said.
“If you see the stats, we had much more shots than them but in the end they were better.”
Asked whether they lacked in tactics, Amadeu said: “I think there was not any tactical problem today. We played a great game and attacked from wings, from middle. We had our chances Paulinho had space to go through. We had the control of the ball but could not put ball inside the net.
“We were also good in defence but when we made some mistakes England were able to score.” Asked whether English forward Brewster is one for the future, he said: “Not only him but I’ve seen many players in this World Cup who can have a bright senior career. There were also players from Brazil. We will probably see them in the future.