BARRANQUILLA, Colombia (AP) – Playmaker Philippe Coutinho scored a goal and set up two others as Brazil defeated Austria 3-0 to take the lead in Group E at the Under-20 World Cup.
Henrique put Brazil ahead in the 37th minute, directing in an Oscar cross from near the penalty spot. Philippe Coutinho was also involved in that goal, and scored himself with a penalty in the 52nd after Danilo was brought down in the area.
The Inter Milan player also set up the third goal with a neat pass to Casemiro, who then found Willian for an easy goal in the 63rd.
Brazil and Egypt have four points after two matches, but the South Americans lead on goal difference. Egypt beat Panama 1-0 in the earlier match. Panama and Austria remain with one point with one round left in group play.
''In addition to the victory and the three points, it was important that the team played better and improved,'' Brazil coach Ney Franco said. ''We hope to improve even more for the next match so we can reach the next round playing even better. We still need to reach a higher level''
Brazil controlled possession but Austria had the game's first significant scoring chance in the 10th minute when unmarked striker Andreas Weimann received the ball free in front of goal but was not able to get his shot past onrushing Brazil goalkeeper Gabriel.
Philippe Coutinho came close to putting Brazil on the board with a close-range shot in the 20th, but Austria goalkeeper Samuel Radlinger made a difficult save to keep the match even.
Austria threatened in the 24th, with Weimann's header going just over the crossbar.
With halftime looming, Henrique finally broke through, with some quick passing and combination play allowing him to score from close range.
Henrique struck the crossbar in the last play of the first half.
Weimann was the only man putting pressure on Brazil's defense, and in the 50th he nearly scored with a hard right-foot shot that forced Gabriel into a difficult diving save.
''It's always hard to do something against the Brazilian team but in the first minutes, until we allowed the first goal, it was quite OK for my team, but aftewards we started losing some power,'' Austria coach Andreas Heraf said. ''We had really good chances. If we had scored it could have been different.''
Brazil doubled its advantage when Danilo made a nice run on the left side and was brought down by Radlinger near the goal, and Philippe Coutinho converted the penalty with a low shot into the left side of the net.
Defensive midfielder Casemiro, who was involved it the third goal, suffered a late injury and is doubtful for the next match.
Brazil coach Ney Franco made two changes to the squad that struggled in the 1-1 draw with Egypt in the first round, replacing left back Gabriel Silva with Alex Sandro and striker Alan Patrick with Henrique.
Alex Sandro had to be replaced less than 15 minutes into the match, though, because of a muscle injury. Gabriel Silva replaced him.
Brazil, upset by Ghana in the final of the previous U20 World Cup, is seeking its fifth world youth title. The team is without young sensations Neymar and Lucas, who last month played with the senior team at the Copa America, when Brazil was eliminated by Paraguay in the quarterfinals.
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni