By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil brushed Italy aside 4-2 in the Arena Fonte Nova yesterday to top Group A in the FIFA Confederations Cup and progress to the competition’s knock-out stages. The result means the Seleção (Brazilian national team) is likely to face Uruguay in the semi-finals, the most probable side to finish runners-up in Group B.
There was a return to goal-scoring form for Fluminense striker Fred, who bagged a brace in a strong Brazilian performance which meant the team maintained their 100 percent record in the tournament thus far.
Dante and Neymar also found the back of the net, the latter for the third successive match. He is the team’s leading scorer with three goals.
Nevertheless, it was the Bayern Munich defender who opened the scoring in the first half’s closing stages. Giaccherini leveled shortly after the interval, before Neymar scored directly from a free-kick to restore the Brazilian advantage.
Italy goalkeeper Buffon was then left helpless by a spectacular left-footed effort from Fred. It was the number nine’s first goal in the Confederations Cup and first since opening the scoring against England at the Maracanã at the beginning of the month.
Scolari’s men weren’t able to calmly play out time after Chiellini pulled one back for Italy when a corner kick couldn’t be cleared properly. However, Fred made sure of the points three minutes from time, putting home the rebound after Buffon could only palm Marcelo’s fierce strike.
Today, Spain face Nigeria whilst Uruguay take on an downtrodden Tahiti side to conclude the Group B clashes.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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