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March 22, 2013
• Stade de Genève, Carouge
Referee: S. Studer
• Attendance: 28000
D. De Rossi 54'
M. Balotelli 57'
Thanks a lot for joining us on Goal.com for tonight's excellent encounter. Be sure to keep with us for all the post-match news and analysis, including match report and player ratings. My name is Tom Webber and it has been a pleasure to guide you through the action. Have a great evening.
FT Italy 2-2 Brazil - A brilliant friendly sees Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli cancel out strikes from Fred and Oscar in the first half. The Azzurri certainly deserved to claim something from the game having dominated for much of the evening, but Scolari will be worried by his side's capitulation after the break.
90' + 4'
And that is it, the final whistle goes!
90' + 3'
One last chance for Italy but Diamanti's delivery from the right is headed away.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
We are into the first minute of an additional three.
In an almost identical position on the same side of the pitch, Diamanti stands over a free kick for Italy. It is a shocking effort though, and resembles a conversion in rugby more than a shot at goal.
Neymar tries to bend the resultant free kick toward the near corner with his right foot but ends up hammering straight into the wall. Not one his best performances for the Selecao this evening.
Some lovely football from Marcelo initiates a good move for Brazil and as it breaks down Montolivo brings Kaka down illegaly as they both go for the loose ball.
EL SHAARAWY!! Very close from the young AC Milan forward as he skips across the edge of the area and works space in front of Dante. He does well to send a controlled, curling effort towards the bottom corner which shades the outside of the post.
Yellow Card Andrea Poli
This comeback will hold Italy in good stead for their forthcoming World Cup qualifier against Malta. Brazil, however, look to be struggling with the lack of competitive fixtures.
Daniele De Rossi
A clever corner from the Italians sees Cerci pull off to the edge of the area and control Diamanti's delivery with his thigh. He then smashes a powerful shot on the spin but it is always rising and it soars well over Julio Cesar's goal.
Just 10 minutes left for a potential decider tonight. Italy remain in control of the game, but Brazil could once again prove deadly on the counterattack.
Yellow Card Christian Maggio
The Selecao earn a free kick on the near corner of the box after a foul on Neymar. Hulk and Hernanes stand over it but it is the former who whips it in with his left foot. Buffon leaves his line and manages to get the ball, but he ends up sticking a knee into De Rossi's back.
From the resultant corner Brazil counterattack through Diego Costa. The ball ends up with Filipe Luis on the corner of the box but he drags his shot well wide of the goal. It proves to be his last action of the match as Marcelo enters the fray in his stead.
JUST OVER!! Cerci has been lively on the right and he does well to roll a pass into Balotelli inside the area. The striker sends an attempt towards goal but Dante gets in the way of it and forces it over the bar.
Mattia De Sciglio
So in Scolari's two games in charge, Brazil have conceded a total of four goals so far. Not the kind of defensive record he would have been hoping for and they have certainly looked vulnerable at the back tonight.
Brazil again looking very rushed in possession and they look incapable of keeping it for prolonged periods. Italy certainly look on top at the moment.
Yellow Card Filipe Luis
Another debut boy enters the action, with Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa being rewarded for his fine club form with his first international appearance.
WHAT A MISS! El Shaarawy's corner is bent in at the near post and Bonucci attacks it. David Luiz's challenge is non-existent but the Italian's glanced header goes wide of the far post.
Italy showing a bit more patience on the ball now and they are happy to slow the tempo of the game. De Sciglio brings Montolivo into the action wide on the left and the midfielder wins his side a corner.
That was probably the best hour of international friendly football that I have witnessed, it really had everything didn't it? Credit to you guys who predicted the Italy comeback, but can they complete it and get a shock win?
GREAT SAVE!! The end-to-end stuff is back! The phenomenal action continues as Montolivo's shot from 25 yards is deflected into the path on an unmarked Balotelli. He brings the ball under control with his chest but sends his shot straight at Julio Cesar, who does well to stay big and block the effort.
Yellow Card Hernanes
JUST WIDE!! Intricate football from the Selecao with Neymar and Oscar combining before the latter rolls the ball back to Fred. From the top of the box he has to snap a quick effort on goal. It lacks pace and is always curling away from goal but Buffon scurried across to make sure of that.
HOW HAS HE NOT SCORED!! Neymar picks up the ball in the middle of the park and charges through before sliding a pass to his left for Hulk. The Zenit man comes into the area at and angle but seems to stand on the ball rather than shooting, and Italy clear away the danger.
Goal Mario Balotelli
GOOOOAAALL!! UNBELIEVABLE!! Balotelli levels the game! An absolutely stunning strike as the AC Milan man again is given too much space 20 yards from goal. No one closes him down but he whips an astounding shot over the keeper and into the back of the net. Terrific strike.
Brazil almost immediately restore their two-goal advantage through Neymar. The 21-year-old strikes a free kick from a central position brilliantly but Buffon manages to pluck it down from close to the top corner.
Assist Stephan El Shaarawy
Goal Daniele De Rossi
GOOOOOOOOAAL!! Italy pull one back! The corner from El Shaarawy is not dealt with by Alves at the near post and it bounces through to De Rossi. The Roma man steals a yard of space on Dante and manages to poke the effort into the corner of the net, with Brazil leaving the post unmanned.
AC Milan team-mates Balotelli and El Shaarawy combine well on the edge of the area. The latter beats David Luiz to the byeline but sees his shot at goal turned behind for corner.
A Mexican Wave is making its way around the stadium at the moment. The start of the second half has not been quite as electrifying as that of the first, but the fans could have been a bit more patient before getting that on the go!
Balotelli rises above his markers inside the area and gets his head on a cross from the right but cannot keep it down. He has found a lot of space tonight and looks like he could well grab a goal.
If you've enjoyed this game so far, just think of how exciting it will be when these two meet in the Confederations Cup this summer. They are in the same group, alongside Japan and Mexico.
Cerci gets on the ball wide on the right for the first time and tries to dribble his way past Hernanes. He slips it through the Brazilian's legs, perhaps fortuitously, and is blocked from getting it on the other side by the Lazio man. The referee sees nothing amiss and allows play to continue.
Stephan El Shaarawy
The second half is under way! Italy have brought on Stephan El Shaarawy and Alessio Cerci for the second half, with Pirlo and Osvaldo making way.
The teams are now making there way back out onto the pitch. More of the same this half please guys!
Welcome back! Not very long until the second half, and @SlimShadyStan thinks that Italy will find a route back into the match: "Balotelli is looking dangerous and he is the one that will make the comeback." What do you guys think of that?
Italy have not bad by any stretch of the imagination and Julio Cesar has seen his fair share of action. They just have not been as clinical in front of goal. Can they fight back and get a result in the second half? Or are Brazil going to run away with it? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @thwebber and I'll post the best when I return for the second half in 10 minutes.
HT Italy 0-2 Brazil - In a open, enthralling game it is the Selecao who have made the most of their chances. Goals from Fred and Oscar give them the lead at the break, meaning the Euro 2012 runners-up have it all to do in the second period.
The half-time whistle goes! What a great 45 minutes of football.
OSVALDO GOES CLOSE!! Maggio races forward on the right flank and feeds a low pass into the area. Osvaldo makes the slightest of contact to angle it towards the far corner but Julio Cesar scrambles across and makes sure it goes wide with a key touch.
Assist Neymar Jr.
OUTSTANDING GOAL!! Brazil counter at pace, with Neymar carrying the ball towards the top of the box. He spots the run of Oscar and sends a fantastic reverse pass into the Chelsea man. De Scigilio is a step behind his opponent who uses the space to stab a tidy finish past Buffon.
That was close! Hernanes is only denied a one-on-one following Neymar's pass as De Sciglio comes across and forces him off the ball. Strong defending there.
JUST WIDE FROM PIRLO!! Italy shift the ball superbly from left to right, with Giaccherini laying it off to Pirlo on the edge of the area. The Juventus midfielder moves it onto his left and curls the ball around Filipe Luis, but he cannot pull it inside the post.
GOOD STRIKE FROM BALOTELLI!! The AC Milan striker is afforded far too much space at the top of the box and he thumps the ball towards the goal. Julio Cesar dives to his right and gets a hand to it and luckily diverts it far enough away from Giaccherini as he follows up.
Having been banished from the Brazil set up following the nation's traumatic Copa America exit in 2011, Fred has come back with a bang. He has carried his club form onto the international stage and is well within a shout of leading the line at the next World Cup.
GOOOOOAALLL!! Fred opens the scoring! Quality move from the Selecao ends with Filipe Luis' cross taking a touch off an Azzurri shirt and falling to the former Lyon striker at the back post. Completely unmarked, he volleys a pinpoint shot past Buffon.
What a waste! Oscar manages to work some space on the right side of the penalty area, turning towards the byeline and sending across straight across the face of goal. Unfortunately, none of his team-mates match his respond and remain statuesque as the ball flashes past them.
The Selecao again look a bit rushed in possession as they move the ball forward swiftly after Osvaldo's pass to Balotelli is intercepted. Sisqo-wannabe Dani Alves tries to play a one-two and surge down the right but sends his pass straight to the opposition.
That is the first effort we have had a goal for a while now, but Montolivo's shot from 25 yards out is skewed well off target. Still, Italy are showing that they are having no trouble in getting at this Brazilian defence.
Yellow Card Fred
Brazil shift the ball quickly and try to break against the Azzurri at speed. Oscar pings a crisp pass up to Neymar but he loses out as he tries to turn his marker.
Things not quite clicking for Brazil in the final third at the moment. We have seen very little of Fred so far, which is disappointing given his excellent form for Fluminense for the last 18 months.
Good tackle on his debut from De Sciglio. The left-back is faced up by Dani Alves but he keeps his eye on the ball and manages to poke the ball cleanly of his opponent's toe. Top defending.
Hulk and Neymar move into central positions, with the former driving to the byeline to try and drill in a cross. He wins his side a corner but it is taken short and nothing comes of it.
SUBLIME PASS!! Pirlo shakes off his marker in midfield and floats a delightful ball in behind Filipe Luis for the overlapping Maggio. He does well to bring the ball under but his contact is weak and the onrushing Julio Cesar makes the save.
The last meeting between these two sides was in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Brazil emerged as 3-0 winners, with Julio Cesar, Dani Alves and Thiago Silva all among the squad for that match.
A lovely move from Italy, with Balotelli finding space by pulling wide to the left. He clips in a delightful cross to Osvaldo but the Roma man's header loops over the bar without testing Julio Cesar.
Young Gremio midfielder Fernando is given the responsibility and he goes fairly close, with a powerful, arrowed effort that drifts just wide of Buffon's goal.
I have to say there have been some pretty suspect tackles flying in courtesy of Montolivo so far. His latest one has awarded Brazil a free kick 30 yards from goal in a central position...
That was never going in! Osvaldo tries to clip a pass out wide but Dante intercepts it. The Brazilian fails to sweep up the ball though and the striker gets straight back on the ball. He looks to chip the ball from the far corner of the box but ends up bouncing a weak effort in front of the keeper.
JUST WIDE!! Balotelli picks up the ball on the left of the area and shapes up to bend an effort for the far corner. It takes a nick off of David Luiz which sees it spin just the wrong side of the post for Italy.
A decent move from the Selecao as Dani Alves passes inside to Hulk. The Zenit man rolls a great pass across the pitch to Hernanes but the midfielder is closed down quickly and he ends up dragging his shot wide of the post.
A very open start to this game with both sides eager to get forward and attack. Brazil are looking a but vulnerable down their right already with Dani Alves bombing forward regularly. Italy appear to be settling quicker though, with a more patient approach.
In the 14 games that these two nations have gone head to head, Brazil have picked up seven wins to Italy's five. Who do you guys think will get another victory tonight? Or are you predicting a draw?
Another dangerous moment for Brazil there as Dani Alves plays the ball back to Julio Cesar from the edge of his own six-yard box. The Barcelona wing back had to get something on that because Osvaldo was waiting just behind for a simple finish.
BALOTELLI GOES CLOSE!! What a brilliant start to the game this is. Italy have already identified a weakness as the ball between David Luiz and Dani Alves is sent in again. Balotelli latches onto it and it takes the legs of Julio Cesar to keep it out of the bottom corner.
ANOTHER GOOD SAVE!! But this time it is Buffon who is worked. Filipe Luis broke forward and fed Neymar as he drifted into a central role. The Santos youngster dribbled forward adeptly before striking a right-footed effort across goal. Buffon, though, was positioned perfectly and parried the effort aside.
Lovely run from Oscar as he jinks his way past a number of blue shirts and looks ready to surge through on goal. Barzagli was lurking further behind and he swept across, beating the Chelsea man to the ball and clearing away the danger.
GREAT SAVE!! Again a ball over the top from Italy exploits space in behind David Luiz, with Giaccherini getting on the end of it. He skips inside the defender and lashes a shot to the near post but Julio Cesar turns it behind with a strong hand.
Italy pick apart a quick Brazil move and De Rossi launches a long ball forward to Osvaldo. The Roma striker runs in behind and cuts inside onto his right foot, however his shot is blocked en route to goal.
We are under way in Geneva!
We are having a moments silence now for Italian Olympic legend Pietro Mennea, who passed away recently.
Kick off is just a few moments away now! I cannot wait for this one.
While Italians may remember that 1982 victory fondly, their hearts will no doubt sink when they think of Roberto Baggio's penalty miss in 1994 that handed the Selecao the World Cup title. Can this team right the wrongs of the last 30 years? Let me know your thoughts via Twitter @thwebber.
So the teams are on the pitch now and we are being treated to the national anthems. This may be a friendly but both sides will be looking to pick up an impressive result tonight. For Brazil, they will be keen to show their credentials against top class opposition.
Claudio Marchisio has withdrawn from the side through illness and so Riccardo Montolivo comes into the side. Brazil have former Serie A stars Thiago Silva and Kaka among their substitutes this evening.
Brazil (4-2-3-1): Julio Cesar; Daniel Alves, David Luiz, Dante, Filipe Luis; Fernando, Hernanes; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred.
Italy (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Maggio, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Sciglio; De Rossi, Pirlo, Giaccherini; Montolivo; Balotelli, Osvaldo.
But without further delay, lets see who will be taking to the field tonight, starting with the Italians.
The last time that the European powerhouse defeated Brazil was in the 1982 World Cup, when a Paolo Rossi hat-trick earned them a 3-2 win. Italy went on to win the competition, while a talented Brazil side are now commonly referred to as one of the greatest teams not to have gone all the way.
Between them, these two sides have accumulated an impressive nine World Cup wins. Though recent history certainly favours the Selecao, who have not tasted defeat against the Azzurri in over 30 years!
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE text commentary on tonight's international friendly between two of world football's most-successful nations. Italy take on Brazil in Geneva, and you can follow all the action with me, Tom Webber, right here.
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