The expectations were sky high before the final act of the Confederation Cup and Brazil was under tremendous pressure to win the game against Spain. People took it to the streets but as the fights and protests against the government continued, football fans rushed to Maracana. Tens of thousands were waiting for their favorite team to win the third trophy in a row and the fact that they were to face the reigning European and world champion served as an additional incentive to be present.
The stakes couldn’t be higher and the hosts were fully aware of the importance of this fixture ahead of the World Cup and this was obvious from the first minute. Brazil came out firing on all cylinders and just 2 minutes into the first half they found a way to score the opening goal. While Fred’s merit is undeniable, it is worth mentioning that Spain committed a string of errors in the defense that made it possible for the hosts to take an early lead.
The reigning world champion fought back and they had a couple of scoring opportunities of their own, but failed to convert any of them. Brazil took advantage of a string of bad passes to test Cassilias, but the Spanish goaltender was just as lucky as he is talented. The goalie deflected a couple of shots but in the end there was nothing more to do when Neymar escaped alone and sent a powerful shot. The ball rested in the net and before the break Brazil was already two goals ahead and hungry for more.
Immediately after the game resumed, the hosts did it again and this time it was Fred to find a gap in Spain’s defense to take the score to 3-0. For most of the second half, the two teams tried to catch the opponents off guard by launching lethal counterattacks but none found a way to score. The visitors were presented with a rare opportunity to claw their way back into the game when Sergio Ramos poorly executed a penalty kick.
From that moment onward it all went downhill for Spain who was toothless upfront and only sent a couple of shots at the opponent’s net. Brazil could’ve taken the score to 4-0 in the final minutes of the game but their strikers missed the goal by a few centimeters. For a full recap comprising a couple of minutes of video check out http://www.cbc.ca/player/Sports/Soccer/Confederations+Cup/ID/2395131161/