Italy vs. Brazil Confederations Cup Live Blog: Instant Reactions and Analysis
The 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup hosts had another solid performance on home soil Saturday, as Brazil defeated Italy 4-2 to win Group A.
Brazil took the lead just before halftime when Dante sent in Buffon's deflection. Six minutes into the second half, Italy equalized on Emanuele Giaccherini's shot just outside the right corner of the six-yard box.
Neymar's free kick to the far post gave the Brazil the lead again four minutes, and by the 66th minute Fred made it three.
But Brazil's inability to clear a corner in the 71st minute led to a Giorgio Chiellini's goal, which brought the Italians to within 3-2.
Another Fred goal sealed the game when he put home his second in the 88th minute.
Brazil takes Group A with the full nine points, while Italy finishes second with two wins and a loss. The two teams will find out their semifinal opponents when Group B finishes Sunday. Italy will play the other group's winner, while Brazil will play the runner up.
Score: Italy 2-4 Brazil
OK everyone, that's all for today. Thanks for following along!
Another solid performance for Brazil overall. Their weaknesses in the back were finally exposed, as they conceded their first goals of the tournament. But offensively they remained potent, able to attack from all angles.
On the other side, it's clear that this is not your father's Italy. They've allowed eight goals in three matches.
Both teams advance to the semifinal. Brazil will play the runners up of Group B, while Italy will play the winners.
Final whistle! Brazil take the game, 4-2, and the group with the full nine points.
Brazil have all but secured the top of the group. Italy need three goals to steal first place.
Another deflection from Buffon off Marcelo's shot finds the back of the net, as Fred pounces on the loose ball.
Goal! Fred scores again, 4-2 Brazil.
Interesting approach from Italy. Balotelli pops out from the crowd to receive the short free kick and hits it first time, but it goes wide right.
Marcelo does a little dance over Maggio's body fighting for the ball, giving a free kick to Italy.
Chance for Italy! Maggio heads it above Julio Cesar's hands but off the post.
Balotelli with another free kick, this one deflected. He's able to take these now with Pirlo sitting.
Substitution. Fernando on for Hulk. Both teams have now used all three of their subs.
Substitution: Stephan El Shaarawy on for Diamanti.
There was some dispute, as the ref appeared to have blown his whistle, perhaps for a penalty, but the goal is allowed.
Goal! Italy shows some life, regrouping from a corner with a goal from Chiellini.
Substitution: Bernard comes on for Neymar, who dazzled once again.
The Italians showed resilience against Japan, but a comeback here seems less likely.
Marcelo plays a nice ball to Fred between Italy's center backs, and he fights by Chiellini to drive the ball past Buffon.
Goal! Fred slams home Brazil's third goal!
Nice ball played into Giaccherini, but he can't reach it.
Balotelli with a strong free kick, forcing Julio Cesar to punch it away.
Neymar should be careful about going down so easily. He could face a yellow card for diving.
Hulk, who's struggled for much of this tournament, with a nice bit of skill down the sideline, resulting in a ball to Neymar who loses it and goes down.
Neymar catches Buffon off guard, going far post instead of bending it over or around the wall.
Goal! Neymar with a stunning free kick on the far post.
Foul on the edge of the box. Italy nearly concedes its third penalty in as many matches as Maggio takes down Neymar just outside the box. Free kick coming.
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