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Brazil attack driving opposition crazy
June 23rd, 2013 2:48AM
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[CONFEDERATIONS CUP] So what was all this fuss about Brazil and scoring goals? Neymar has broken out of a scoring slump with goals in all three games, including a free kick in Saturday's 4-2 win over Italy, to lead Brazil to nine goals in three games, all wins, at the Confederations Cup. The win set up a date with Uruguay Wednesday in the semifinals. The other semifinal -- Spain-Italy -- on Thursday will be a replay of the Euro 2012 final.

Neymar scored on splendid volleys in Brazil's first two games and he showed he could put away a dead ball, curling a free kick on the edge of the box into the top corner of the net past a helpless Gianluigi Buffon.

Fred scored two goals and Dante added a fourth as Brazil won Group A with its 10th straight win in Confederations Cup play.

"Movement is important," said Neymar, "and we are doing it well, the variations we have in attack. We change position and it drives the opposition a bit crazy."

In Saturday's other game, Mexico got two goals from Javier Hernandez to beat Japan, 2-1, for only its third win in 12 games in 2013. The goals moved the 25-year-old Chicharito into a tie for third place with Luis Hernandez on the Mexico all-time scoring list with 35 goals.

Spain broke the record for the most competitive games without defeat with a 3-0 victory over Nigeria. The win extended Spain's streak to 28 consecutive games without defeat in an official competition, dating back to its opening group match of the 2010 World Cup, a 1-0 loss to Switzerland.

Tahiti exited with its third straight heavy defeat, an 8-0 loss to Uruguay. Abel Hernandez became the second player to scored four goals against the Tahitians to lead the Celeste into the semifinals.

Boosted by the 6-1, 10-0 and 8-0 results in the three Tahiti matches, the Confederations Cup ended the first round with an average of 4.8 goals per game. Even if you throw out the three Tahiti games, the scoring average is 3.7 goals a game. Only one game -- Brazil's 2-0 win over Mexico -- produced less than three goals.

GROUP A:
June 15
Brazil 3 Japan 0.
Goals: Neymar 3, Paulinho 48, Jo 90+3.
June 16
Italy 2 Mexico 1.
Goals: Pirlo 27, Balotelli 78; Hernandez pen. 34.
June 19
Brazil 2 Mexico 0.
Goals: Neymar 9, Jo 90+3.
Italy 4 Japan 3.
Goals: De Rossi 41, own goal 50, Balotelli pen. 52, Giovinco 86; Honda 21, Kagawa 33, Okazaki 69.
June 22
Mexico 2 Japan 1.
Goals: Hernandez 54, 66; Okazaki 86.
Brazil 4 Italy 2.
Goals: Dante 45+1, Neymar 55, Fred 66, 89; Giaccherini 51, Chiellini 71.
Standings: Brazil 9 points; Italy 6; Mexico 3; Japan 0.

GROUP B:
June 16
Spain 2 Uruguay 1.

Goals: Pedro 20, Soldado 32; Suarez 88.
June 17
Nigeria 6 Tahiti 1.
Elderson 5, Oduamadi 10, 26, 76, own goal 68,  Elderson 80; Tehau 56.
June 20
Spain 10 Tahiti 0.
Goals: Fernando Torres 5, 33, 57, 78; David Silva 31, 89; David Villa 39, 49, 64; Juan Mata 66.
Uruguay 2 Nigeria 1.
Goals: Lugano 19, Forlan 51; Mikel 37.
June 23
Spain 3 Nigeria 0.
Goals: Jordi Alba 3, 87, Fernando Torres 62
Uruguay 8 Tahiti 0.
Goals: Hernandez 2, 24, 45, 67 pen., Perez 27, Lodeiro 61, Suarez 82, 90.
Standings: Spain 9 points; Uruguay 6; Nigeria 3; Tahiti 0.

SEMIFINALS:
June 26
Brazil vs. Uruguay 2:30 p.m. ET ESPN/WatchESPN
June 27
Spain vs. Italy 2:30 p.m. ET ESPN/WatchESPN


1 comment
  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: June 24, 2013 at 1:16 p.m.
    Am I the only person besides Alexi Lalas who notices that Neymar in particular, but Marcello as well, are world class cheats? The diving and intentional fouling are such a part of their game that I don't give a ____ how good they are, they spoil what would otherwise be lovely soccer. And of course they scream bloody-murder whenever they are touched. It will be interesting to see if Barca will tolerate Neymar's behavior when he is wearing their shirt.

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