Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Scolari vs. tiki-taka

As predicted in this column before the Confederations Cup got under way, the final will be disputed between Brazil and Spain, or rather, Scolari versus tiki-taka, the most irritating form of playing football the world has ever known. Spain's short passing game is efficient, but please...

Spain and Italy had a goalless draw in the other semi-final (Brazil had already defeated Uruguay). Spain won on penalties.

Brazil...

Four games, four victories, eleven goals scored and twelve points is the tally from Brazil's first four matches in the Confederations Cup against Japan (3-0), Mexico (2-0) Italy (4-2) in Group A and Uruguay 2-1 in last night's first semi-final.

 

Brazil 2 Uruguay 1

Fred     Edinson Cavani

Paulinho

 

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Marcelo, Oscar, Gustavo, Paulinho, Fred, Hulk, Neymar. Subs: Jefferson, Fernando, Lucas Moura, Hernanes, Dante, Filipe Luis, Jean, Rever, Bernard, Jo, Jadson, Cavalieri.

Uruguay: Muslera, Lugano, Godin, Caceres, Maxi Pereira, Rodriguez, Arevalo Rios, Gonzalez, Forlan, Suarez, Cavani. Subs: Castillo, Coates, Gargano, Pereira, Eguren, Hernandez, Aguirregaray, Lodeiro, Perez, Ramirez, Silva.

Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile)

 

Uruguay pressed Brazil back in the opening quarter of an hour and the result was a Forlan penalty, which Julio Cesar saved. Uruguay would rue the missed chance. After this Brazil started to come more and more into the match with Hulk and Fred forging a dangerous partnership, breaking through Uruguay's massed midfield which stifled Brazilian initiatives at root. However, Brazil went into the interval 1-0 ahead, 42' goal from Fred.

 

Neymar chested down a long pass and shot; Muslera saved but Fred was waiting for the rebound.

 

Uruguay, predictably, came out after the break in fighting spirit and on 48' was level on 1-1, goal from Edinson Cavani who finally justified his transfer tag, intercepting a bad pass from Thiago Silva to Marcelo and thundering the ball into the back on the net. Uruguay came back into the game and end-to-end football ensued.

 

Brazil, however, raised the game after Scolari brought on local hero Bernard and the difference in a close game was the second goal. 86', Neymar corner, Paulinho headed in.

 

Group A

 

Brazil 3 games 3 victories 0 draws 0 defeats 9 goals scored 2 against 9 points

Italy 2 0 1 8 8 6

Mexico 1 0 2 3 6 3

Japan 0 0 3 4 9 0

 

Brazil 3 Japan 0

Mexico 1 Italy 2

Brazil 2 Mexico 0

Italy 4 Japan 3

Italy 2 Brazil 4

Japan 1 Mexico 2

 

Group B

 

In Group B, Spain predictably appears as the main foe with wins over Uruguay (2-1), Tahiti (10-0) and Nigeria (3-0). The tiki-taka (Spain's short-passing game) is working...but only when Spain's players remember that to work, the passing has to be fast.

 

Spain 3 0 0 15 1 9

Uruguay 2 0 1 11 3 6

Nigeria 1 0 2 7 6 3

Tahiti 0 0 3 1 24 0

 

Spain 2 Uruguay 1

Tahiti 1 Nigeria 6

Spain 10 Tahiti 0

Nigeria 1 Uruguay 2

Nigeria 0 Spain 3

Uruguay 8 Tahiti 0

 

Final: Brazil v. Spain or Italy

Sunday, June 30

 

The Confederations CUP is organized by FIFA for the holders of the six confederation championships (UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, OFC), the FIFA World Cup holder (Spain) and the host of the next FIFA World Cup (Brazil). UEFA (Europe) will be represented by Italy, since Spain won the UEFA Cup and Italy was runner-up; CONMEBOL (South America) will be represented by Libertadores 2011 winner Uruguay; CONCACAF (North and Central America and Caribbean) will be represented by Mexico; CAF (Africa) by Nigeria; OFC (Oceania) by Tahiti and AFC (Asia) by Japan. It is taking place from June 15 to 30.

 

Aleksei Federov

 

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