CONFEDERATIONS CUP | BRAZIL 2 - URUGUAY 1
Brazil make it to their Confederations Cup final
A goal from Paulinho in the 86th minute handed Scolari’s team the victory over Uruguay. Fred put Brazil ahead in the first half, Cavani levelled at the start of the second.
If there is a team who lives on past memories it’s Brazil. They say that watching them in the mid 20th century was something sensational, like a Cirque du Soleil spectacular. It shouldn’t be forgotten though that back then we didn’t have the technology we do now, so people had to be content with what they read, or heard, or if they were lucky enough, to watch it in their house, on a fuzzy black and white telly. Nowadays they have golden players, but little style or imagination. It’s no surprise they thought about Pep Guardiola for national coach. Scolari came back to the job to bring a breath of fresh air, but it seems the team is so bogged down in mediocrity they have reached the point they bore their own fans, who are desperate to conquer something in world football.
Brazil are in the final on Sunday, but they left a lot to be desired. Before Neymar appeared for the first and only time in the opening half, with a piece of play that put Fred in to open the scoring, the Uruguayans had seen luck turn her shining face from them. Forlan watched Julio César save his penalty in the 12th minute and Luiz Gustavo, who started the move that led to Brazil’s goal, could have been sent off for putting his studs into Cebolla Rodriguez’s belly.
Uruguay drew level straight after half time, with Cavani stroking home the fourth consecutive chance that fell to the visitors as the ball bounced around the Brazilian box. The Napoli striker (Ancelotti, have a think about him) knew exactly how to take advantage of Thiago Silva’s assist. The defender, instead of sending the ball out to the refreshment stand, decided to play it close, a school boy error. And from there, players valued at 67 million euros aren’t allowed to miss. 1-1.
Hulk kept trying to surprise Uruguay with shots from everywhere, Rio de Janeiro included, while Neymar continued to be isolated, with no chance of dribbling (he constantly had two opponents on top of him) or maybe it was just that nobody could get him the ball in the areaswhere he can inflict damage. Tabárez was relaxed. Happy. His plan was working and Cavani was playing at his best, supported by the muscle in the midfield and the guile of Suárez and Forlan (who was though somewhat affected by having missed the penalty).
Uruguay’s attack began to disintegrate however as they tired. They were pushed back and the Brazilians took advantage to add some spice to the game, though it was more good intentions than anything else. Bernard showed flashes of his quality. And the chances began to appear, until finally Neymar launched a corner which Paulinho rose to meet and head home. A good leap to put the ball past Muslera, who could only watch and feel sorry for himself, as did his teammates.