[CONFEDERATIONS CUP]Brazil wasn't at its best, but it still managed to beat Uruguay, 2-1, in Belo Horizonte and move into the final of the Confederations Cup against the winner of Thursday's Spain-Italy match.
Brazil and Uruguay appeared headed to overtime when Paulinho got free behind Martin Caceresand outjumped the Celeste defender to head Neymar's corner kick into the goal at the far post for the winner in the 86th minute.
“Our mission was to reach the final, and we have done it,” said Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari. “We needed to win games like that to learn how to win in the World Cup. Our team is very young and this kind of game helps us to grow.”
Brazil had been fortunate in the first half when goalkeeper Julio Cesar stoppedDiego Forlan's penalty kick in the 14th minute and went ahead on local favoriteFred's goal off a rebound from Neymar's effort in the 41st minute -- one of Brazil's few chances in the first half.
But Uruguay took advantage of some very sloppy defending to even the score early in the second half on a goal by Edinson Cavani.
The Seleção has now won all four games at the World Cup tuneup with 11 goals to its credit.
At the one-mile perimeter from the Estadio Minerao, police clashed with protesters, firing tear gas and rubber bullets and having them lobbed back at them. Early in the day, a crowd estimated at 50,000 gathered in central Belo Horizonte in the latest of a series of demonstrations.
June 26 in Belo Horizonte
Brazil 2 Uruguay 1.Goals: Fred 41, Paulinho 86; Cavani 48.
Brazil -- Julio Cesar; Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar (Hernanes, 82); Hulk (Bernard, 63), Neymar (Dante, 90), Fred.
Uruguay --Muslera; M.Pereira, Godin, Lugano, Caceres; A.Gonzalez (Gargano, 82), Arevalo, C. Rodriguez; Cavani, Forlan, Suarez.
Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile).