Confederations Cup 2013 Results: Spain and Brazil on Collision Course for Final

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJune 17, 2013

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 16:  The Spain players lineup for a team photo prior to the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group B match between Spain and Uruguay at the Arena Pernambuco on June 16, 2013 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Just three matches into the Confederations Cup, Brazil and Spain have already made it clear they won't be stopped on their way to the final. 

Let's take a look at the results from the early action in Brazil, the groups and then Spain and Brazil's path to the final. 

Saturday, June 15

Brazil 3, Japan 0

Sunday, June 16

Italy 2, Mexico 1

Spain 2, Uruguay 1

Here is how the two groups look for this esteemed tournament:

2013 Confederations Cup Groups

Group A  Group B 
Brazil  Nigeria
Italy  Spain 
Japan  Tahiti 


Breaking Down Spain and Brazil's Paths to Final

Spain clearly has the easier path here. The world's top team should have little trouble handling Nigeria and Tahiti. 

They've already beaten Uruguay, who figure to be their biggest competition for advancing from this group.

Spain's win over Uruguay was not as close as the 2-1 score would suggest, either. Uruguay did not earn their goal until the 88th minute.

Spain never left Uruguay with much of a chance in this one. According to the Associated Press (h/t Sports Illustrated), the skilled Spanish side dominated possession with a 71 percent mark in the category.

This is not shocking. With Spain's world-class midfield, they have used their ability to control possession to the top of the world pecking order.

Barring something insanely unforeseen happening, Spain will advance as the top seed from Group B.

Brazil will do the same in Group A.

However, their path is certainly a little more difficult. Brazil easily handled Japan in the opener, but Italy and Mexico will provide a stiffer challenge.

After Italy's 2-1 win over Mexico, the Italians have the inside track at being the second team to advance, but they still don't have what it takes to handle Brazil.

The typically defensive-minded Italians have become a more balanced team under the guidance of manager Cesare Prandelli. Still, Italy suffer through an inconsistent attack and it is tough to see them finding much success against a Brazil defense led by Dani Alves and Thiago Silva.

All of this leads me to believe that Brazil will take on Uruguay in what should be a fun semifinal.

Uruguay will have a better chance at cracking the Brazilian defense than Italy, but with scorers like Neymar and Hulk, Brazil will be able to outlast their opponent. 

In the other semi, it looks like Spain and Italy are headed for a repeat of last year's European Championship. Spain cruised with a 4-0 win and there is nothing to suggest that Italy have the ability to be four goals better against Spain this time around. 

That sets up for the Brazil-Spain final. While Spain would have to be considered the favorite, being the host country, the young Brazil team will get a boost from the home fans. 

I believe this will set up for an epic final and I'm completely confident this is the final we will get. 


    B/R's Champions League Group-Stage Awards

    World Football logo
    World Football

    B/R's Champions League Group-Stage Awards

    Sam Tighe
    via Bleacher Report

    B/R Live: Watch Every Europa League Game

    World Football logo
    World Football

    B/R Live: Watch Every Europa League Game

    via Br

    Isco Didn't Reject Armband: He'd Promised It to Carvajal

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Isco Didn't Reject Armband: He'd Promised It to Carvajal

    Hugo Cerezo
    via MARCA in English

    Did Isco Confront the Fans or the Ref?

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Did Isco Confront the Fans or the Ref?

    Adapted by Geoff Gillingham
    via MARCA in English