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Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

Internacional go top in Brazil

Internacional went top of the table in Brazil’s Serie A with a one nil win over struggling Sao Paulo away at the Morumbi. Erstwhile Tottenham target Leandro Damiao scored the only goal of the game in the fourteenth minute to send Dunga’s team two points clear of joint second placed Botafogo and Coritiba, having played a game more than most of their immediate rivals. Internacional’s next match is a straightforward looking visit to bottom-of-the-table Nautico.

Sao Paulo now sit only one point and one place above the relegation zone and all four teams below them have at least two games in hand so it looks set to be a long, tough season for Paulo Autuori’s men, who have now lost seven times on the trot in all competitions including five consecutive league games. Next time out they face rivals Corinthians in a vital Sao Paulo derby under intense pressure to stop the rot.

Related links: Football in Brazil

Confederations Cup: Brazil 3-0 Spain

Brazil 3 (Fred 2, 47, Neymar 44)
Spain 0
Maracana, Rio de Janeiro. Temp. 23°C, wind 9 mph, mostly cloudy. Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland)

TEAMS

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho (Hernanes 88), Oscar, Fred (Jo 80), Hulk (Jadson 73), Neymar.
Spain: Casillas, Ramos, Arbeloa (Azpilicueta 46), Pique, Alba, Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets, Torres (Villa 59), Mata (Navas 52), Pedro.

Brazil impressively swept aside the challenge of Spain and were totally unfazed by the pressure of competing in a final in front of their own fans as they scored three goals without reply to retain the FIFA Confederations Cup, making it three wins in a row and their fourth triumph in the history of the tournament. Once again their star player, Neymar, was on song and they tormented the Spanish defence for ninety minutes whilst largely snuffing out any hint of a threat at the other end.

Nerves were settled early on as Brazil once again struck in the opening minutes. All three of their front line were involved in the move that led to Fred’s second minute strike, with Hulk crossing from the right for Neymar to knock it down to Fred and the Fluminense striker scooped it in. Brazil kept the pressure on and their fast start clearly rattled Spain, who struggled to cope with the speed and movement of the selecao attack. Both Arbeloa and ramos were booked before the half hour mark and just as Spain were looking forward to a chance to rest and regroup over half time, their task got much harder as Neymar fired in the second goal of the night.

The struggling Arbeloa was replaced with the more attacking Chelsea right-back Cesar Azpilicueta at the interval but he didn’t have time to make an impact before Fred effectively wrapped it up for Brazil with his second and their third on the game within two minutes of the restart. Spain looked to have been handed a route back into the game six minutes later when they were awarded a spot kick for Marcelo’s trip on Jesus Navas, but Sergio Ramos struck the penalty wide of the goal and any lingering hopes of a comeback were finally extinguished in the sixty eighth minute when centre-back Gerard Pique was dismissed for a foul on Neymar.

Jadson, Jo and Hernanes were introduced for Brazil late on as manager Luiz Felipe Scolari tried to give as many of his players as possible a chance to experience winning the final of a major international tournament before the real thing starts next summer. They saw out the game without difficulty to spark celebrations across the city and country and raise expectations sky high that they will repeat the success in the World Cup in twelve months’ time. The impressive nature of their win over the world champions has certainly quietened any of Scolari’s doubters and on this form his team can mount a real challenge for the World Cup. Spain have had a wake up call after a record breaking unbeaten run in competitive matches, but they have plenty of time to put their house in order before the main event and they will also still be strong contenders.

Related Links:
Football in Brazil
Football in Spain
Confederations Cup 2013

Confederations Cup: Brazil 2-1 Uruguay

Brazil 2 (Fred 41, Paulinho 85)
Uruguay 1 (Cavani 48)
Mineirão, Belo Horizonte. Temp. 26°C, wind 6 mph, partly sunny. Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile)

TEAMS

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar (Hernanes 72), Fred, Hulk (Bernard 64), Neymar (Dante 90+1).
Uruguay: Muslera, Lugano, Pereira M, Caceres, Godin, Rodriguez, Gonzalez (Gargano 83), Arevalo, Suarez, Forlan, Cavani.

Brazil qualified for the final of the 2013 Confederations Cup and will face either Italy or Spain at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. Goals from Fred and Paulinho at the end of each half were enough to see of Uruguay, who replied through Cavani but missed a penalty in the first half. Uruguay will now face the losers of the other semi final in the third place match on Saturday.

Both teams were back to their strongest line ups with Paulinho returning to the midfield for Brazil and Uruguay bringing back the whole host of first team regulars who were rested for their final group game against Tahiti. There was an emotional applause just before kick off as the stadium remembered Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe, who passed away ten years ago today in a Confederations Cup semi final match against Colombia in Lyon.

The first dozen minutes passed uneventfully as neither team managed to find their rhythm or keep possession for a prolonged period of play. The first noteworthy action occurred in the thirteenth minute when Uruguay won a corner and David Luiz hauled down Uruguay captain Diego Lugano as the ball was played into the box. Diego Forlan stepped up to take the penalty and struck his shot low to the goalkeeper’s left but Julio Cesar dived the right way and pushed the ball around his post to the delight of the crowd and relief of his team mates. Immediately after that, Brazil produced their first meaningful attack culminating in a speculative shot from Oscar that sailed just wide.

The match continued in a similar, scrappy, vein with chances few and far between until Diego Forlan managed to get on to the end of a cross from the left and blaze a venomous shot just over the bar from the edge of the box in the thirtieth minute. It was the closest anyone had come to a goal in open play thus far. Full-back Marcelo was providing much of Brazil’s attacking threat with his forays down the left flank and he put a promising ball into the box towards Fred but the forward was beaten to the ball at the near post and couldn’t convert it. Uruguay goalkeeper Muslera wasn’t totally redundent in the first period, but his work was largely restricted to periodically plucking Brazilian crosses out of the air until five minutes from the interval when he was forced off his line to close down Neymar but could only deflect the striker’s shot into the path of Fred, who was left with a simple tap in to make it 1-0.

There was still time for a Luis Suarez chance before the interval, but the Liverpool forward didn’t connect properly with his shot and couldn’t trouble Julio Cesar. The one nil deficit at the break seemed a bit harsh on the Uruguayans as they had had the best chances and allowed Brazil to score with their only dangerous attack. Whatever they said at half time obviously had an effect because they were level within three minutes of the restart. It was a messy build up with the ball pinging around the Brazilian box, never under control and never properly cleared, until Cavani pounced and clinically dispatched it into the far corner with a low shot to silence the crowd.

The equaliser prompted a more exciting period of play with chances at both ends, for Oscar when Muslera fumbled a high ball and for Uruguay when an inviting Suarez cross was whipped away from the head of Forlan by a defender at the last moment. Hulk then fired in a stinging, swerving free kick from long range that Muslera could only punch away, and the same player was off target with an overhead kick a few minutes later. It was his last action of the match as he was replaced by local hero Bernard shortly after.

Uruguay were almost handed the lead in the sixty sixth minute when a Forlan free kick from the right was headed towards his own goal by Thiago Silva, but fortunately for the defender it flew just over the bar. Brazil immediately responded with a chance for Fred at the other end and then produced the best move of the match to set up Neymar, but his shot wasn’t strong enough to trouble Muslera. Spaces started to open up in the last quarter of an hour and chances came a bit more frequently as the prospect of an extra half hour started to loom. Forlan did well to set up Cavani for a sharp turn and shot that almost completed the turn around, but Brazil generally had more of the possession as the game wore on.

Their breakthrough came five minutes from full time when Paulinho outjumped Caceres at the far post to head a corner from Neymar past Muslera and make it 2-1. There was some late pressure from Uruguay in stoppage time and Muslera even came up for a couple of corners, but Brazil withstood and booked their place in Sunday’s final. Neymar lost his record of scoring in every game of the tournament but once again he was the most influential player on the pitch and created both goals. The only downside of his performance was the amount of time he spent rolling around on the pitch.

Related Links:
Football in Brazil
Football in Uruguay
Confederations Cup 2013

Confederations Cup: Brazil 4-2 Italy

Brazil 4 (Dante 45+1, Neymar 55, Fred 66, 89)
Italy 2 (Giaccherini 51, Chiellini 71)
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador. Temp. 27°C, wind 6 mph, scattered clouds. Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)

TEAMS

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz (Dante 34), Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Hernanes, Oscar, Fred, Hulk (Fernando 76), Neymar (Bernard 69).
Italy: Buffon, Bonucci, Chiellini, Abate (Maggio 30), De Sciglio, Aquilani, Montolivo (Giaccherini 26), Marchisio, Candreva, Diamanti (El Shaarawy 72), Balotelli.

Brazil beat Italy 4-2 in an exciting final Group A game in Salvador to secure first place in the group, meaning that Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team will probably now avoid Spain in the semi finals. It was a scrappy first half, but the goals started to flow in the second period as both teams went for the win and Brazil eventually got the better of their opponents thanks to some fine attacking play and party due to some uncharacteristic sloppy goalkeeping from Gianluigi Buffon.

The first half was a scrappy stop-start affair littered with mistimed tackles in which there were four bookings and three players were forced off injured. Neither team managed to settle into their rhythm and there were no goals until stoppage time when a free kick from the Brazilian left found its way through to substitute Dante, who slotted home from beyond the far post. Dante, who had replaced the injured David Luiz just after the half hour mark, recorded his first goal for his country and it was a popular strike with the locals in the stadium as he hails from Salvador.

Italy found their way back into the game with a classic route one goal in the sixth minute of the second half when Buffon hit a long clearance upfield. It was headed on to Balotelli, who flicked it into space behind the Brazilian backline with an impudent backheel which set substitute Giaccherini free down the right. He took the ball into the box and made no mistake with a driven shot into the far side of the net before the covering defenders could get back to close him down.

However, Italy were only on level terms for four minutes as Neymar won and scored a free kick to keep up his record of having scored in every game so far in this tournament. It was a bit harsh on Italy as the striker appeared to run into Maggio’s leg rather than being tripped, but the free kick was struck spectacularly in to the far corner past a static Buffon, who ought to have done better. Italy came close with a free kick of their own from Balotelli, who shot powerfully towards the top corner from way out, but Julio Cesar was equal to it and a few minutes later Brazil broke to make it 3-1 through Fred.

There was much controversy surrounding Italy’s second of the game in the seventy first minute when Chiellini scored following Candreva’s corner. The referee blew for an apparent penalty for a foul on Balotelli at the same time as Chiellini hit his shot towards the far post but when the ball ended up in the back of the net, the Uzbek official changed his mind and awarded the goal rather than the spot kick. There hadn’t really been enough time between the whistle and goal for anyone to react and stop playing, but by the letter of the law it should have been a penalty to the Italians and protesting Brazilian players surrounded the referee, but in vain.

Italy came close to levelling the score with ten minutes remaining when Maggio got his head on the end of another Candreva corner from the right and sent the ball crashing into the crossbar with Julio Cesar well beaten. Having survived that scare, Brazil saw out the last few minutes and wrapped it up at the death when left back Marcelo broke through and tested Buffon with a low shot to the near post that the ageing goalkeeper could only push back into the path of the advancing Fred, who made no mistake with a simple tap in.

Related Links:
Football in Brazil
Football in Italy
Confederations Cup 2013

Confederations Cup: Brazil 2-0 Mexico

Brazil 2 (Neymar 9, Jo 90+3)
Mexico 0
Castelão, Fortaleza. Temp. 30°C, wind 18 mph, passing clouds. Referee: Howard Webb (England)

TEAMS

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar (Hernanes 62), Fred (Jo 82), Hulk (Lucas Moura 78), Neymar.
Mexico: Corona, Rodriguez, Torres Nilo (Barrera 70), Moreno, Flores (Herrera 58), Mier, Guardado, Torrado (Jimenez 88), Salcido, dos Santos, Hernandez.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Brazil made it two wins from two in Confederations Cup Group A with a 2-0 win against Mexico, who once again failed to find a finishing touch to some accomplished approach play. Neymar was the star of the show and, ultimately, the difference between the two teams scoring one goal and creating the other.

Brazil started strongly with the backing of a passionate home crowd bedecked almost uniformly in yellow. They thought they had taken the lead as early as the fifth minute when Oscar had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside. However, they kept the Mexicans under pressure and did get the breakthrough a few minutes later when Dani Alves broke forward down the right and sent in a delicious cross that was flicked clear by a defender only to drop to Neymar on the edge of the box. The young forward expertly hit a powerful left-foot volley past Corona in the Mexican goal to make it 1-0.

Mexico’s defence continued to be stretched by Brazil’s speed on the break and it was almost 2-0 just before the quarter hour mark when Dani Alves again came forward and hit an inch perfect chip towards the far top corner but Corona managed to scramble back and finger tip it over the bar. That seemed to be the wake-up call for Jose Manuel de la Torre’s team as they gradually managed to get a grip on the game and enjoyed a few periods of possession, even creating some promising situations, without getting any clear cut chances. The closest they came was with a dos Santos free kick that flew just over the bar in first half stoppage time.

The second half began with another Brazilian ‘goal’ ruled out for offside but proceeded to be much tighter and less eventful than the first period. There were one or two half chances at both ends and Neymar went close again with a rasping shot from the left towards the near post but by and large Mexico competed on an even footing with their opponents and threatened at times to get back on level terms. In the end it was another piece of magic from Neymar that wrapped up the win for Brazil. He produced a fine dribble into the box, squeezing through an almost invisible gap between defenders before picking out substitute Jo arriving in the six yard box to lay on a simple tap in to make it 2-0 in the last minute of injury time.

Brazil now have six points from a possible six ahead of their final group game against Italy. Mexico have now suffered successive defeats in their opening two games and only have a slim chance of qualifying for the semi finals, They face Japan in their final group game, with the Japanese first taking on Italy in the other Group B game later on tonight.

Related Links:
Football in Brazil
Football in Mexico
Confederations Cup 2013

Brazil off to winning start

Brazil got their 2013 Confederations Cup defence off to a perfect start in front of 67,423 fans at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília as they put three goals past the Japanese without reply to become the early leaders of Group A. With home advantage, and just one year before the World Cup kicks off, the pressure to deliver had been high but any nerves were calmed early on when Fred chested down a Marcelo cross for Neymar to fire into the top corner in only the third minute. It was the first goal in nine internationals for the symbol of Brazil‘s latest generation of talent and the quality of the strike is a step towards proving that he can cope with the weight of expectations.

To their credit, Japan didn’t crumble and fought back strongly, creating some good chances of their own whilst keeping the score at 1-0 until half time. However, they started the second half as badly as they had started the first and Corinthians midfielder Paulinho made it 2-0 from a Dani Alves cross in the 48th minute. The Brazilians looked comfortable for most of the rest of the encounter and rested all three of their forwards in the last quarter of an hour, bringing on Lucas Moura and Hernanes to strengthen the midfield. It was the third substitute, Atletico Mineiro striker Jo, who completed the scoring in injury time when he was set up nicely by Chelsea’s Oscar.

Brazil will face Mexico in their second group match on Wednesday, with Japan taking on Italy just afterwards. Mexico and Italy face off in their opening match later on today. The top two in the group will go through to the semi finals.

TEAMS:

Brazil: Júlio César, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar, Fred (Jo 81), Hulk (Hernanes 75), Neymar (Lucas 74).

Japan: Kawashima, Konno, Uchida, Yoshida, Nagatomo, Endo (Hosogai 78), Hasebe, Okazaki, Honda (Inui 88), Kiyotake (Maeda ’51), Kagawa.

Confederations Cup 2013: Team by Team Preview

The 2013 Confederations Cup kicks off in Brasilia on Saturday with a strong line up of teams competing in the World Cup dress rehearsal a year before the real thing takes place next summer. Most of them will expect to return for the 2014 World Cup – only Tahiti have been eliminated so far from the qualification process – so it’s a good chance for them to hone their preparations and get some valuable experience of the Brazilian conditions. Here’s our guide to the teams and how they will fare.


Team: Brazil
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Qualified as: Hosts

Last 5 results: Group A Fixtures:
Brazil 1-1 Russia (London, 25-03-2013, FR)
Bolivia 0-4 Brazil (Santa Cruz, 06-04-2013, FR)
Brazil 2-2 Chile (Belo Horizonte, 25-04-2013, FR)
Brazil 2-2 England (Rio de Janeiro, 02-06-2013, FR)
Brazil 3-0 France (Porto Alegre, 09-06-2013, FR)
Japan (Brasília, 15-06-2013)
Mexico (Fortaleza, 19-06-2013)
Italy (Salvador, 22-06-2013)

Star Player: Neymar. The Santos striker is the most exciting attacking talent in Brazilian football at the moment, but he still has a lot to prove, especially at international level. His goals record of 20 in 34 games for Brazil is impressive but, having made his debut just after the last World Cup, most of his national team experience has come in friendly matches. He did feature in the 2011 Copa America and 2012 Olympics, scoring in both tournaments, but wasn’t able to help his team to success on either occasion. It’s easy to forget that he’s still only 21 as he seems to have been in the headlines for years since he shot to prominence at a young age and led Santos to their Copa Libertadores triumph in 2011 and rarely a week has gone by in the past two years without rumours linking him with a big money move to Europe. New he’s finally heading to Barcelona to test himself in La Liga and he’ll want to leave his homeland on a high by impressing at the Confederations Cup before he starts his new adventure.

One to Watch: Oscar. The Chelsea midfielder has been playing an increasingly prominent role in the Brazil national team of late and now has seventeen caps and six goals to his name. Also only 21, he is coming into the tournament off the back of a successful first season in Europe where he excelled in the English Premier league and won the Europa league. His fleet footwork and incisive passing, not to mention his lethal shooting ability, make him an important supplier and scorer of goals and a successful Confedereations Cup campaign will go al long way towards staking his claim for a first team spot come next summer. Brazil could be building their team around him for years to come.

Prediction: We expect Brazil to rise to the occasion and put recent patchy form behind them by reaching the final of this event on their home soil. They have selected a strong and talented squad and will be treating the competition very seriously as it represents their only chance of competitive action in the build up to the World Cup finals. Home advantage should help them see off Japan and Mexico in their opening games and we expect them to win their group and reach the final, possibly against Spain, which would be a close encounter but they may just edge it. Read the rest of this entry »

Brazil Squad for Confederations Cup 2013

Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, 64, named thirteen overseas and ten Brazilian based players in his 23 man squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup. Goalkeeper Júlio César is the most capped player, with 67 caps and striker Neymar has the most goals with 20. There are sixteen different club teams represented in the squad, with Fluminense supplying three players, Atlético Mineiro, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Paris-Saint Germain two apiece and no other club with more than one representative.

Brazil played their first warm up match last night against England in a friendly to mark the re-opening of the redeveloped Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil dominated the first half in front of a 66,015 crowd but were thwarted by a string of saves from England goalkeeper Joe Hart. However, they broke through in the second half when Fred scored a rebound after Hernanes’ shot had struck the bar. The goal brought about a reorganisation from England and Scolari was slow to react to the changes allowing substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney to put England ahead before he replaced Hulk with the more defensive Fernando. Corinthians midfielder Paulinho saved the day with a spectacular volley seven minutes from time to rescue a draw and spare his manager the ignominy of a defeat on the opening night of the new arena.

Brazil face France in Porto Alegre on the 9th of June in their second and final warm up match for the tournament and they will be desperate for a good result as they have only won one of their last eight matches. They then start their defence of the Confederations Cup in the capital, Brasilia, against Japan (15-06-2013) followed by their remaining Group A matches against Mexico in Fortaleza (19-06-2013) and Italy in Salvador (22-06-2013).

The Brazil Confederations Cup squad in full is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Júlio César (Queens Park Rangers), Jefferson (Botafogo), Diego Cavalieri (Fluminense)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Jean (Fluminense), Dante (Bayern Munich), Réver (Atlético Mineiro), Filipe Luís (Atlético Madrid)

Midfielders: Paulinho (Corinthians), Lucas Moura (Paris Saint-Germain), Hernanes (Lazio), Luiz Gustavo (Bayern Munich), Jádson (São Paulo), Fernando (Grêmio), Bernard (Atlético Mineiro), Oscar (Chelsea)

Forwards: Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (Barcelona), Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Leandro Damião (Internacional)

Copa Libertadores Quarter Finals First Legs

The first legs of the quarter final fixtures in the Copa Libertadores were completed last night and three of the ties remain very delicately poised ahead of the return matches next week.

In the all Argentinian clash, Boca Juniors were held to a goalless draw in their Bombonera stadium by Newell’s Old Boys and they will be without Guillermo Burdisso for the trip to Rosario as he received his marching orders in the third minute of injury time at the end of the second half. Newell’s Old Boys will now be favourites to progress to the semi finals as they are currently flying high at the top of the Primera Division whereas Boca are having a terrible domestic season and languish down in 18th place. However, Newell’s Old Boys will have to end their current five game winless run against Boca.

Meanwhile in northern Mexico, Xolos de Tijuana continued their good run in the competition by taking a 2-0 lead against strongly fancied Atletico Mineiro of Brazil. Striker Dubier Riascos gave the Mexicans a half time lead and Fidel Francisco Martínez Tenorio doubled their advantage early in the second half to rattle the Brazilians. However, they struck back through Diego Tardelli and salvaged a last minute equaliser from substitute Luan to put themselves in a strong position with two away goals. Nevertheless, they will be aware that Tijuana went away to Palmeiras in the last round having drawn the home leg and won 2-1 in Sao Paolo.

The other tie that rests on a knife edge is the clash between Brazilian champions Fluminense and Olimpia of Paraguay, which finished 0-0 on Wednesday night in Rio. Olimpia will be buoyed by that result and the chance to take on Abel Braga’s team on equal terms back in Asuncion next week, but they will be without midfielder Eduardo Lorenzo Aranda, who was sent off late on.

The first quarter final was a much more one sided affair and looks to be done and dusted as Santa Fe of Bogota recorded a 3-1 away win against Real Garcilaso at their Andean stronghold in Cusco. Two goals in three first half minutes from Francisco Meza and Wilder Medina gave the Colombians a dream start and Jefferson Cuero made it three early in the second half before Alfredo Ramua struck back to salvage some pride for the Peruvians, who had missed a golden opportunity to pull a goal back in the first half when Paraguayan midfielder Fabio Ramon Ramos missed a penalty. Real Garcilaso now face an uphill struggle in Bogota next week.

Friendly Result: Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-2 Brazil

Bosnia-Herzegovina were denied a draw with Brazil by a late own goal from Glasgow Rangers’ Sasa Papac. Brazil took the lead early on through Real Madrid full-back Marcelo in the friendly match in front of over 17,000 fans at the AFG Arena in St Gallen, Switzerland. However, the lead didn’t last long as VFB Stuttgart’s new signing Vedad Ibisevic equalised in the 13th minute. The stalemate endured until injury time but Bosnia-Herzegovina couldn’t quite hold on until the final whistle as the unfortunate Papac put through his own goal.

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