[CONFEDERATIONS CUP] Brazil beat Spain, 3-0, with a dominating performance in the final of the Confederations Cup to set itself up as the favorite to win next
year's World Cup.
Having undergone one coaching change and taken heavy criticism in the last year, la Seleção will also have gotten the Brazilian media off its back en route to its third straight Confederations Cup title.
Four years ago, Brazil trailed the USA 2-0 at the half before rallying to win 3-2 in the Confederations Cup final. This time, Brazil scored after only 94 seconds and coasted to victory.
Spain, which entered the game with a world record 29-game unbeaten streak in competitive matches, never had a chance against Brazil, which intimidated it with its high-pressure game.
Fred was laying on the ground when he lifted the ball past Spanish keeper Iker Casillas to open the scoring after Hulk played a ball into the area the Spanish defense could not handle.
Brazil sliced the Spanish apart all night, getting goals from Neymar -- his fourth of the tournament -- and Fred -- again -- on either side of halftime to go ahead, 3-0.
Spain's nightmare continued as Sergio Ramos missed wide with a penalty kick that could have brought it back to within two goals with a half an hour to play, and then Pique was sent off for a foul on Neymar.
-- Italy edged Uruguay 3-2 in a shootout to take third place following a 2-2 draw. Gianluigi Buffon saved three penalty kicks in the shootout.
June 30 in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil 3 Spain 0. Goals: Fred 2, 47, Neymar 44.
Brazil -- Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho (Hernanes 88), Luiz Gustavo, Oscar; Hulk (Jadson 73), Neymar, Fred (Jo 80)
Spain -- Casillas; Alvaro Arbeloa (Azpilicueta 46), Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Iniesta, Xavi, Mata (Navas 52), Busquets; Pedro, Fernando Torres (David Villa 59),
Red card: Spain -- Pique 68.
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)