By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil comfortably beat Mexico 2-0 yesterday afternoon at the Arena Castelão in Fortaleza to sit top of Group A after two rounds of the FIFA Confederations Cup. Italy also prevailed over Japan, 4-3, meaning the winner of the clash between the two on Saturday will win the Group, subsequently facing the runners-up of Group B in the semi-finals.
From the very off, the Castelão bubbled like a particularly excitable cauldron. Halfway through the Brazilian national anthem, the loudspeakers cut out, only inciting the 67,000 fans inside the stadium to sing even louder, visibly inspiring the players.
Before Mexico had a chance to gather their bearings, the Brazilians had taken the lead. Dani Alves’ cross looped up enticingly and Neymar smashed the ball past Corona to open the scoring for the second successive match.
Neymar could have put the Seleção (Brazilian national team) two up after being played through by Fred but blazed over. When the first half whistle blew, Brazil left the field to thunderous applause after a dominant 45 minutes.
Brazil didn’t let up after the interval. Hulk combined well with Neymar in attack as Brazil began to put on a show worthy of a potential champion. For the first time under Scolari the team is gelling as a complete unit.
The second and decisive goal came deep into stoppage time. Neymar took out a pair of markers with one flick and a burst of pace. He then squared the ball for Jô to score a thoroughly deserved second for the Brazilians.
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