Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2013 Contents A53
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rider Peter Sagan won
stage eight of the Tour de
Suisse and Mathias Frank
retained the yellow jersey
yesterday heading into the
final-day individual time
trial in Switzerland.
Sagan, who rides for
Cannondale, beat Daniele
Bennati in a sprint finish
at the end of a 180-kilo-
metre stage from Zernoz
to Bad Ragaz.
Frank, a Swiss rider for
BMC Racing, finished in
the main group and holds
a 13-second lead from Rui
Alberto Costa with one
stage left. (AP)
Sagan wins stage 8, Frank closes in on title
BRASILIA---Neymar started to live up to the
huge expectations of a demanding public
only three minutes into the Confederations
Cup yesterday, scoring an early goal to help
Brazil beat Japan 3-0 in the opening match
of the tournament.
The Brazil striker scored with a firm shot
from outside the penalty area, connecting with
the ball after Fred controlled a long cross from
Marcelo with his chest. The ball bounced only
once before Neymar whacked it in.
For the next two minutes, most of the 67,432
fans at the National Stadium chanted Neymar s
name, relishing the knowledge that their poster
boy is already starting to deliver for the national
team with one year to go before the World
Paulinho added the second goal for Brazil
in the 48th, deftly controlling a cross from
Dani Alves before turning inside and shooting.
Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima got his hands
to the ball, but it was too powerful for him
to stop. Jo got the third, latching onto a through
ball from Oscar and sliding it past Kawashima
in injury time.
The win puts Brazil at the top of Group A
with three points. Italy and Mexico will play
in the other group match today.
Neymar entered yesterday s match facing
a minor wave of criticism. He has become
something of an idol in Brazil, but a nine-
match scoreless streak had heaped pressure
on the 21-year-old striker heading into the
The fickle Brazilian fans, who had taken to
booing their team in recent weeks, were firmly
behind the "Selecao" and its star this time,
With his hair long on top and short on the
sides, Neymar has already started to transcend
the game in Brazil, like David Beckham nearly
everywhere else. His picture is plastered around
the country in underwear and phone ads, to
name a few. He has also appeared on Brazilian
television, appearing as himself in one of the
country s biggest soap operas.
That s just off the field. On it, Neymar has
earned himself a massive transfer from local
club Santos to Barcelona, where he will be
teammates with Lionel Messi next season.
The match against Japan was likely some-
thing Neymar was looking forward to. The
Japanese have never beaten Brazil in ten games,
earning only two draws---both at the Confed-
erations Cup, first in 2001 and then again in
The last time they played, in a friendly in
Poland in October, Neymar scored two goals.
This time, he was named "Man of the Match."
Not everything was perfect for the young
star yesterday, however. In the 15th minute,
Neymar was stuck on the sidelines fiddling
with the socks on his right foot. He came back
on the field about two minutes later---after
the fans took a moment to boo referee Pedro
Proenca for not letting their star back on more
Midway through the second half, he was
briefly knocked down. When he got back up,
the fans started chanting his name once again.
And then, about six minutes later, Neymar
was taken off and replaced by Lucas. The
decision halted the Neymar chants, but not
the cheers for Brazil from the yellow-clad
BRASILIA---At least 500 protesters com-
plaining against the high cost of staging
the World Cup rallied yesterday in front
of the National Stadium in Brasilia just
hours before Brazil played Japan in the
opening match of the Confederations Cup.
Riot police were called up to keep demon-
strators from getting too close to the sta-
dium as thousands of fans arrived for the
inaugural match in the nation s capital.
There was no confrontation, but a few
tear gas bombs were thrown by the police
to try to control the protesters as they
moved near the venue.
Protesters carried banners saying that
too much money was being spent on the
Confederations Cup and next year s World
Cup while the majority of the population
continued to struggle.
"We are demanding more respect to the
population," said 21-year-old Vinicius de
Assis, one of the protesters. "They are
building these overpriced stadiums and are
not worrying about the situation of their
The demonstrators also shouted against
FIFA, saying that football s governing body
doesn t have the right to make demands
on the Brazilian government. "FIFA, go
away," they chanted.
The protesters said they are being exclud-
ed from the tournaments because of the
high prices of match tickets.
"This is a shame, this is our money that
they used for these tournaments," said
demonstrator Jaisson Peres. "Millions and
millions spent and we don t get anything
The local government said only about
200 demonstrators participated in the
protest. It said in a statement that police
used "progressive force" to keep the protest
under control but said they would take
action if needed to keep the demonstrators
away from the stadium.
"Authorities will not allow any distur-
bance of public order or any threats against
the match," the government said. "It s guar-
anteed that fans have complete access to
The protest came two days after police
clashed with demonstrators angered by
hikes in bus and subway fares in Sao Paulo,
Brazil s biggest city.
Protest organisers said more than 100
demonstrators were injured. Police would
only say that 12 officers were hurt and that
more than 230 people were detained and
later released in the Thursday night demon-
strations in Sao Paulo.
Similar protests were held Thursday in
Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and in Porte Alegre.
Brazil's Paulinho, left, scores his side's second goal during the opening match between Brazil and Japan in group A of the football Confederations
Cup at the National Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, yesterday. Brazil won 3-0. AP PHOTO
Neymar scores as Brazil tops
Japan 3-0 in Confederations Cup
high cost of
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