Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2013 Contents A54
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 23, 2013
SALVADOR---Neymar scored his
third goal in three matches and Fred
added two others as Brazil showed
commanding form to defeat Italy
4-2 and finish top of Group A of
the Confederations Cup yesterday.
Substitute defender Dante opened
the scoring from close range in first-
half injury time, but Italy equalised
through Emanuele Giaccherini s swift
breakaway in the 51st. Dante looked
just offside for his goal.
Neymar scored in the 55th with a
well-placed free-kick shot into the
top corner of the net as Italy goal-
keeper Gianluigi Buffon could only
watch, and Fred added to the lead
from inside the area in the 66th
before Italy pulled closer again with
a Giorgio Chiellini goal in the 71st.
Brazil was furious with Uzbek ref-
eree Ravshan Irmatov, who appeared
to blow for an Italy penalty but
changed his mind and gave a goal
when it went in the net a second or
Italy almost equalised when an
80th-minute header by Christian
Maggio exploded off the crossbar,
and Mario Balotelli just missed with
a right-footed shot a few minutes
later, but Fred sealed the victory from
a Buffon parry in the 89th, another
goal that looked offside.
Brazil ended with nine points, three
more than the Italians. Mexico and
Japan had already been eliminated.
Brazil needed at least a draw to win
the group and likely avoid a matchup
with World Cup champion Spain,
which leads Group B.
The result keeps Italy winless
against Brazil in 30 years, since the
second round of the 1982 World Cup
in Spain. In six matches since, Brazil
has won four and there were two
Brazil had also beaten Italy 3-0
the group stage of the 2009 Con-
federations Cup, when it eventually
won its second-straight title---and
third overall---in the warm-up com-
petition. Brazil hasn t won any sig-
nificant title since then.
The teams had met only four times
since the 1994 World Cup final in
the United States, with two victories
by Brazil and two draws, including
a 2-2 result earlier this year. It was
the first time the teams played in
Brazil took control in the first few
minutes but it didn t take long before
Italy leveled the match at the Arena
Fonte Nova in Salvador.
....Hernandez double gives Mexico
2-1 win over Japan
Javier Hernandez cemented his
status as Mexico s leading striker
yesterday, sending his team home
from the Confederations Cup on a
high by scoring twice to clinch a 2-
1 victory over Japan in their final
Group A match.
With seven goals in his last eight
games for Mexico, the 25-year-old
Manchester United striker has now
climbed up his country s all-time
scoring leaderboard to third spot,
which he shares with retired forward
"He s always been a very insistent,
determined player," said Mexico
coach Jose Manuel De la Torre, who
also managed Hernandez at Guadala-
"He s highly competitive, and has
a huge dynamic and sense of timing
in order to score...and that is what
has taken him to be at these very
high levels with Manchester United.
Now he s simply responding with
these goals for the national team."
After struggling to threaten in the
first half at the Mineirao Stadium,
Hernandez met Andres Guardado s
cross in the 54th minute and headed
in again in the 66th from Giovani
Dos Santos corner.
Shinji Okazaki pulled one back for
Japan in the 86th and Hernandez
won a penalty in stoppage time, but
his weak effort was saved and he
then sent the follow-up against the
Both Mexico and Japan were play-
ing only for pride, having been elim-
inated from the Confederations Cup
by losing their first two matches at
the 2014 World Cup test event.
"We have an unpleasant taste in
our mouths---we don t like seeing
our team being eliminated early from
a tournament," Hernandez said
through a translator.
"But Mexico at least made it to
the (Confederation Cup) finals...and
this victory helps us in building the
Although Japan leaves Brazil having
finished bottom of its group without
a point, the team s return trip to
Brazil is already guaranteed.
The Asian champions were the
first World Cup qualifiers while Mex-
ico is still slugging it out for a spot
from the Concacaf confederation.
Japan was the speedier and hun-
grier initially, picking up where it left
off in Wednesday s slender 4-3 loss
Using their pace down the flanks,
the Japanese were displaying the
dynamism the Mexicans were lacking
Japan striker Shinji Okazaki found
the net after ten minutes from the
edge of the area, but it was ruled out
for a border-line offside decision.
An early effort from Shinji Kagawa
was blocked by the boot of goal-
keeper Guillermo Ochoa, who also
easily collected a low strike from
For all the creativity and slick pass-
ing, the Japanese had nothing to
show for its domination.
Mexico eventually got a foothold
in the game, with Jesus Zavala head-
ing over from a free kick and testing
goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima with a
long-range effort that was turned
Brazil beats Italy 4-2
in Confederations Cup
Brazil's Dante, right, scores the opening goal past Italy's Gianluigi Buffon, left, during the soccer Confederations
Cup Group A match between Italy and Brazil at Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador, Brazil, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Links Archive June 22nd 2013 June 24th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page