Brazil leave it late to book semi-final place at Germany's expense
SUPER-SUB Maicon put Brazil into the U20 World Cup semi-finals as they edged out Germany in extra time.
Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby had given the Germans a deserved lead in the 73rd minute but after Maicon equalised with two minutes of normal time to play, the Fluminense striker bagged the winner in the first minute of extra time to see Brazil through 2-1.
Germany dominated the early position with Bayer Leverkusen striker Richard Sukuta-Pasu testing Brazil keeper Rafael on a couple of occasions.
The South American's pushed themselves back into the game and might have taken a first-half lead had it not been for the heroics of Manchester United youngster Ron-Robert Zieler in the Germany goal.
The second half was more one way traffic as the German midfield pressed hard into the Brazil half.
But time and time again Rafael was equal to the German efforts and it looked like the Brazilian defence were destined to hold out.
But on 73 minutes, Germany finally cracked the stubborn back line as Holtby found space and converted after a well-struck corner for his second goal of the tournament.
Brazil coach Rogerio immediately responded by bringing on Maicon for Corinthians midfielder Boquita in what seemed to be a desperate ploy to get men in the box.
But just as it looked like Germany were heading for the semi-finals, Maicon struck back, finding the net with just two minutes of normal time remaining.
As extra time commenced the momentum had well and truly swung in Brazil's direction and the South Americans immediately took advantage as Maicon stepped up to bag his second of the game in the 91st minute.
A tired-looking German side gave it their all but never looked like equalising as Brazil joined Ghana and Hungary in the semi-finals, where they await either United Arab Emirates or Costa Rica.