Confederations Cup: Italy vs. Brazil
22 June 2013
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
45+1' Dante; 51' Giaccherini; 55' Neymar; 66' Fred; 71' Chiellini; 89' Fred
Italy XI: Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Aquilani, Marchisio, Montolivo; Diamanti, Candreva; Balotelli
Brazil XI: J.Cesar; D.Alves, T.Silva, D Luiz, Marcelo; L.Gustavo, Hernanes; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred
Brazil prevailed in a fascinating match with Italy in Salvador, beating their Group A rivals 4-2 at Arena Fonte Nova to finish top of the bracket and avoid a semifinal date with world and European champions Spain.
Dante opened the scoring in the dying minutes of a chippy first half when he slid Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s rebound into the back of the net, and straight after the restart one of the most entertaining periods of football you’re likely to see was kicked off with an Emanuele Giaccherini equalizer that came from nothing.
Neymar restored Brazil’s one-goal lead in the 55th minute with a perfectly-placed free kick that curled just inside the top right-hand corner of Buffon’s goal, and 11 minutes later Brazil were ahead by two thanks to Fred, who did well to control Marcelo’s lofted ball before finishing past the Juventus number-one.
Then, in the 77th minute, the Brazilian players claimed the referee had blown his whistle before Giorgio Chiellini had put the ball past Selecao ‘keeper Julio Cesar, but the goal stood and suddenly Italy were back in it.
But if there were any doubts who the winner was going to be on this day they were put to bed with a minute of normal time remaining when Fred completed his brace, pouncing on another Buffon rebound after Marcelo’s initial attempt had been saved.