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June 15, 2013
• 3:00 PM
• Estádio Nacional de Brasília, Brasília, Distrito Federal
Referee: Pedro Proença
• Attendance: 67423
Right, that's it! Thanks for tuning in to Goal's LIVE coverage of Brazil's 3-0 Confederations Cup win over Japan. I've been Simon Harrison, I hope you've enjoyed both mine and Kris Voakes' input over the past two hours. Be sure to tweet me your post match thoughts too: @simonhfootball. Have a great day.
Kris Voakes: There can be no complaints about that performance from Brazil. Luiz Felipe Scolari complained yeeterday that the Brazilian fans didn't give his team enough credit, while there were questions asked about Neymar's form. The response of both the No.10 and his team-mates has been phenomenal. They have truly sent the home fans away happy, setting up the game with Mexico on Wednesday superbly.
Kagawa and Honda did well for Japan, with their two centre halves playing quite well too. Maeda did well after his second half introduction, creating three good chances, but it wasn't enough for Japan in the end. Brazil deservedly win, but the scorelines perhaps flattered them a little.
Neymar's goal lights up the first game of the 2013 Confederations Cup, helping the Selecao to their first win of the competition. Strong performances throughout the hosts' side help Scolari to silence his critics against a hard-working Japan side.
There's the final whistle! The crowd go wild and Scolari looks quite pleased! The hosts win by three goals in a comfortable victory in the end, thanks to finishes from Neymar, Paulinho and Jo.
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
GOOOOOAL! JO! Oscar plays through a perfectly weighted through ball, and the substitute scores his first ever goal for Brazil! What a good move!
90' + 1'
Despite the rain, a lot of spectators are staying firmly in their seats to see their team until the end. Japan have had the late possession and chances, but that's only because Brazil have stepped off the gas and stopped their high pressure.
INUI! The substitute tests Julio Cesar's gloves from around 20 yards, but it doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper. That's probably going to be Japan's last chance, I can't see there being a great amount of stoppage time.
Kris Voakes: Many spectators are making a bee-line for home now with the heavens having opened at just the wrong time for them. For the most part though, they've seen the style and substance that Brazil still have and will be happy with their day out.
It's raining, but the Brazilian crowd's spirits won't be dampened. This has been a professional performance from the Selecao, they've not switched off despite going ahead, and both of their goals have been impressive.
Brazil are more than happy to sit back in their own half and see out this game. Jo has almost dropped as deep as the half way line, as I'm sure Scolari won't want to fuel his critics by conceding a late goal. Julio Cesar's confidence looks as though it needs a clean sheet too.
CHANCE! Great play from Oscar down the left hand side, which forces a hasty clearance from Konno, with Jo lying in wait behind him. The Japanese central defenders have played quite well today, it must be said.
MAEDA! The substitute has yet another good chance, heading a Honda cross back across goal from the left hand side! Julio Cesar claims easily, I think that he should've been pressured a little more in that scenario.
Time seems to be petering out for Japan now. Despite working hard, they're now beginning to tire a little, which is something Brazil's fresh substitutes could exploit. Japan certainly haven't given a bad account of themselves today though.
We're into the last ten minutes, and this is certainly Brazil's game to throw away. Japan have been limited to one clear chance in the second half, while the hosts have enjoyed far more success. The crowd are notably more relaxed now too, as their side look on course for a win.
Yoshida now makes a good block, to prevent another Brazilian attack from coming to fruition. The Southampton defender might be trying to prove his worth for his domestic side whilst at this tournament, after their transfer activity has given him some competition.
Yoshida clears well, after Lucas moved well to provide Fred with a chance to control the ball on the edge of the box and look to shoot. Oscar was then played in down the channel, but the ball is cleared well.
Things have gone a little bit quiet now, especially since Neymar has been taken off. In the second half, the Barcelona man was looking to get the crowd involved, but now he's off the field, that showmanship is certainly missing.
Japan haven't managed to test Julio Cesar, except for Maeda's powerful strike. Maeda was just wrestled to the ground by Luis Gustavo inside the penalty area, but the referee didn't see anything wrong with the Bayern midfielder's challenge. They could've had a penalty there.
Kris Voakes: Well that didn't please the majority of the 67,423 crowd! With the entrance of one idol comes the exit of another. How they'd have loved to see Lucas and Neymar on the field together.
Scolari is now looking to his bench, happy to fulfill the crowd's chants for certain personnel, but they're unhappy to see that their hero Neymar is the man being replaced! Scolari will feel as though he can't do anything right at the moment.
The figures have been announced and there is an attendance of 67,423 at today's game! Quite a turnout, they've seen a good opening game to this tournament too.
MAEDA! After a free kick from Honda is scrappily cleared from deep in the Brazil penalty area, the substitute is on hand to blast a drive towards the host' goal! Julio Cesar gets well behind it though.
Hang on, he's not going off! He makes his way slowly back onto the pitch after some quick treatment. As I said earlier, I don't think that anything is going to stop Neymar from playing this game in it's entirety.
Kris Voakes: Here comes the exhibition football. The crowd are loving this as Neymar turns up the showboat-ometer. This is now becoming an exercise in keeping the score down for the Japanese, while the home side simply have to keep giving Neymar the ball to keep the crowd happy!
Half chance for Fred and Neymar again! Good defending from Japan results in Konno and Hasebe combining make a block to deny Neymar and Dani Alves. Neymar is holding his back, I think they might be taking him off as a precaution.
Japan patiently probe the Brazil banks of yellow shirts, but they're unable to find any openings. Honda is looking a little tired, Kagawa is only able to pick up the ball if he drops in deep, and generally Japan are struggling a little when getting into advanced areas.
Great play from Neymar! The Barcelona man uses a Cruyff turn wonderfully to nutmeg his opponent, before beating Uchida well with a change of pace and a chop inside. He's definitely the showman of today's fixture!
Brazil are really settling into their side now, with chances coming a bit more freely for Scolari's men. Fred hasn't had the best luck so far, and just then he failed to control a ball sent his way by Paulinho. His miscontrol allows the ball to roll out for a Japanese goal kick.
Kris Voakes: The crowd know their side will win this game now, so their attention has reverted to possible substitutions. Local hero Lucas is being called for by the masses, and within a minute Scolari responds by sending the PSG man to warm up, to the applause of the spectators.
Good defending from Endo! The Japanese midfielder makes a great interception to break down a very promising Brazil counter attack. Japan are fading a little here, every second ball is falling Brazil's way.
Kawashima is almost caught out by a long range effort! The Japan keeper hasn't looked the most comfortable, and being beaten by such a speculative effort but certainly have compounded his weaknesses tonight.
Half chance for Fred! The forward was almost played in behind Yoshida, but the central defender manages to deflect the intended pass behind for a corner. Neymar takes the set piece, but David Luiz can't meet it at the back post, and Japan have a goal kick.
PAULINHO! The free kick is taken short to Neymar, who sprays the ball wide to Dani Alves. The Barcelona full-back whips a ball towards the back post, but Paulinho can't quiet get his head over the ball to turn it home - instead it balloons over.
Oscar wins yet another free-kick, as the Chelsea midfielder is caught late by Okazaki. Marcelo is stood over this dead ball scenario, I think that they're all trying to have a free kick each.
Poor ball from Hulk! The Zenit man wins possession in the centre of midfield, and has Neymar streaking away unmarked down the left hand side, but his intended pass is cut out by Yoshida. That was a really poor ball from Hulk and the crowd voice their displeasure quietly.
MAEDA! The substitute lets fly from 30 yards, and Julio Cesar fumbles the strike once again, due to a bobble. The former Inter Milan keeper is looking a little nervy, but I don't think the playing surface is helping.
OFFSIDE! Neymar whips in a free kick from the left hand side, but Paulinho is offside from when the ball is played, somehow. I'm not sure what he was doing there, that was a really wasteful mistake.
It's only 50 minutes into the game, but tiredness already looks to be creeping in. Neymar has been caught a couple of times by Uchida now, which isn't something which Brazil nor Barcelona fans will want to see. At times, all the full-back can do is foul Neymar, he can be a tricky customer.
Kris Voakes: Many Brazil fans missed Paulinho's goal as they made their way back from the half-time interval. Whether there were teething problems at concession stands or they were simply taking a relaxed attitude to proceedings, one can only speculate. But they have returned to their seats now knowing it would take some turnaround for their team to lose this game.
Japan are the first side to shuffle their pack, which is probably a good idea, seeing as Brazil are settling into dominance. The hosts aren't necessarily keeping the ball brilliantly, but Japan are allowing a few poor touches and mistakes to slip into their game.
Japan looked to have taken the game by the scruff of the neck at the start of the second half, but now find themselves trailing by two goals. Brazil look in control, but Japan certainly aren't incapable of getting back into the game.
OKAZAKI! A chance immediately in response to Brazil's goal! A great ball from the right hand side evades David Luiz, allowing Okazaki to slide in and attempt to divert the ball toward goal, but he can't quite get his foot around it.
Assist Daniel Alves
GOOOOOAL! PAULINHO! Kawashima was at fault there, but Paulinho smashes the ball straight through his hands! Dani Alves put in a decent ball from the right, but I do think that the Japanese keeper will be distraught at that attempted save.
CHANCE! Great work down the left hand side allows Nagatomo in behind Brazilian lines, but he can't find Okazaki with his delicately chipped cross! Good, positive start from Japan.
We're back underway for the second half, and I think the crowd will want to see a more lively second 45 minutes! Despite a good start to the game, things started to simmer a little, hopefully a team talk can prove to be the catalyst for improvement.
A great half for Neymar. Somebody tweeted me and said that they predicted the former Santos man would prove his doubters wrong today, and he's done just that so far. How do you think Brazil will come out in the second half? Tweet me your thoughts: @simonhfootball.
That said, the first half hasn't been all Brazil. Japan have crafted a few half chances through the trickery of Honda, Kagawa and Kiyotake, with Okazaki not far away from a lot of crosses. Julio Cesar has been a little jittery so far, which could be something that Japan look to prey on.
Neymar's goal is certainly the highlight of the first half. To recount what occurred, the Barcelona winger found himself in a central area, received a chested lay-off by Fred, and dispatched the ball into the top right hand corner of Kawashima's net.
That's it, the half time whistle blows, after David Luiz blasts a 30 yard free-kick harmlessly over the bar courtesy of a deflection. The crowd are a bit restless, but Scolari will just be pleased that his side are leading at the break. Brazil 1-0 Japan.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Makoto Hasebe
45' + 1'
Brazil looks to break, after Thiago Silva intercepts a Japan counter-attack, but Hasebe cynically brings down Neymar as the goalscorer breaks. He knew what he was doing then!
Kris Voakes: There was a great moment away from the TV cameras as Marcelo received treatment, with team-mate David Luiz standing over the full-back and fanning him with a towel after he'd received a knock in a somewhat unpleasant area!
Marcelo is down injured on the halfway line, and looks to be in considerable pain. He's back on his feet however, after taking on some fluids, and I think he'll be okay to continue.
FRED! The forward is found on the edge of the Japan penalty area, sets the ball onto his right foot and tests Kawashima! The Japanese goalkeeper is forced to get down smartly to his right to palm away Fred's goal-bound effort.
HULK! SIDE NETTING! The winger cuts inside, beating Nagatomo with a smart change of pace, but smashes a hammer of an effort into Kawashima's near post netting!
Kris Voakes: There's a group of about 20 people just to my left trying to start up chants, but the rest of the crowd just don't want to know! Many are busy booing every backwards pass Brazil make in their own half. Perhaps Neymar's blockbuster strike raised their expectations a bit too far.
Thiago Silva! The PSG defender makes an important interception for Brazil, diverting a Kiyotake cross away from Okazaki, who was lying in wait behind Silva.
Wasted! Honda dives in front of Hulk's free-kick to deny the Zenit man the chance to hit the target. Hulk then wasted the resulting play, as Japan again manage to throw a block in, but this time to prevent a Hulk cross. He isn't having the best luck so far.
Another cross! Konno stands tall to head this one away, as momentum swings back in Brazil's favour. The hosts have now won a free-kick from 35 yards out, David Luiz and Hulk stand over it.
GREAT BALL IN! Uchida does just enough to divert a fantastic cross from the right hand side, when Neymar looked destined to tap the ball home at the back post!
The game is still a little bit flat, as shown by the crowd deciding to start some Mexican waves. Both sides haven't been wasteful with the ball, but the end-to-end start to the match has worn away.
CHANCE! Marcelo drives forward, and holds onto the ball until he's pressured. As Yoshida steps out, the Real Madrid left back tries to play Fred into the space which was opened by Yoshida's movement, but Fred can't quite control the ball.
Luis Gustavo heads away well, after a dangerous cross was flighted in, in search of Okazaki. Japan have been able to whip a few deliveries in lately, they're growing into this game a little. As I've said before, Kagawa looks their classiest operator.
Okazaki is almost played in brilliantly, as Marcelo nearly plays the Japanese forward onside, but thankfully for the hosts the Real Madrid full-back comes out just about far enough! Brazil were almost torn apart with one pass from Nagatomo.
CHANCE! Konno clears well after Marcelo tries to play a cross across the six yard box for a loitering Fred! That was an important interception, I don't that that the Brazilian striker would miss from that distance.
Japan have just settled into a spell of possession in the last few minutes, and they've kept it effectively. Unlike Brazil, they don't look threatening on every single attack, but Kagawa is dropping into pockets of space quite well, it seems that he'll be the key for Japan.
Kris Voakes: Perhaps what this game really needed for the neutral was an early Japan goal! The visitors are trying to make an impression, with Alberto Zaccheroni waving the occasional instruction, but it all appears a bit exhibition-like at this point, with the Brazil fans seemingly comfortable with their team's start to the game.
David Luiz tries to force the issue by pressing forward with the ball, but Japan are holding their shape reasonably well. Neymar has been the main source of inspiration thus far, but Hulk has also contributed. Brazil might be best armed to exploit the flanks.
David Luiz just about puts enough pressure on Okazaki to prevent the striker from reaching a cross. Japan certainly haven't sat back and gone for a draw in this game, they've been quite positive.
HULK! PAULINHO! The Zenit forward manages to beat his man due to pure strength, but can't beat Kawashima! The rebound looks to have fallen to Paulinho, but I think it was Yoshida who dived in the way.
CHANCE! Kawashima flaps at a Neymar set piece, the Japan goalkeeper certainly hasn't shown much in the way of positive contribution so far. Thankfully, nobody in a yellow shirt is present to turn the rebound home.
HONDA! The Japan midfielder tries his luck again, and Julio Cesar spills the ball comically. That strike was quite weak, but the QPR goalkeeper fumbled it strangely.
Neymar returns to the field, I think he'd still want to try and come back on if he broke his leg! After a bright start, things have gone a little quiet, but both teams are capable of breaking quickly.
Kris Voakes: The crowd has kind of settled into this one now, with only the occasional chant of 'Brasil' being heard. Luiz Felipe Scolari said yesterday that the players had to spark the crowd into action, and this current lull on the field is being reflected in the stands.
Worrying signs for Brazil, as Neymar goes off the field to receive some treatment on his foot. He seems to have been given some strapping on his foot.
Dani Alves gives the ball away needlessly, but redeems himself by recovering possession. The Barcelona man lofts a ball into the box in search of Fred, but he puts too much on it, and it flies out of play for a goal kick.
This has been end-to-end stuff so far, both teams have some players capable of carrying the ball well. Neymar is an obvious outlet for Brazil, whereas Kagawa and Kiyotake have broken well for Japan.
Hulk doesn't quite get in the delivery he desired, striking Yoshida with his intended cross, and I don't think that will help his cause with the Brazil fans. Another failed cross merely moments later receives a few muted boos too.
Neymar has already started playing to the crowd, first in the celebrations following his goal, and now whilst on the ball. A few tricks and a bit of showboating are certainly appreciate by his adoring fans!
HONDA! Kiyotake is fed wide by Kagawa, before hanging a ball up to the back post. Honda comes steaming in, but gets it all wrong, ballooning his attempted volley way over the crossbar.
CHANCE! Honda tests Julio Cesar with a long range free kick, before Kagawa gives the ball away which almost results in another Brazilian goal. Yoshida does well to cut out a through ball by Fred.
Kris Voakes: Well, that's a simply stunning start! The crowd had already been cheering virtually every Brazilian touch, and then Neymar sticks one in the top corner, prompting the crowd to sign his name as Japan look to get back into it. The atmosphere didn't need a Brazil goal, but it got one anyway!
Nobody expected quite that start! Neymar has been said to be off-form for Brazil recently, but he took that chance phenomenally well! Japan are yet to even test Julio Cesar and trail in the early stages.
GOOOAL! NEYMAR! WHAT A GOAL! Fred chests the ball to Neymar on the edge of the box, and the youngster doesn't hesitate to let fly! He finds the top corner fantastically!
Marcelo and Hulk combine well down the left side for Brazil's first attack. Hulk outpaces Uchida easily, but his cross is poor and Yoshida clears.
And the first game of the 2013 Confederations Cup is underway! The crowd roars, it sounds like quite an atmosphere that Kris will be experiencing!
Kris Voakes: WOW! What an experience being able to share this with the Brazilians. As the anthem was booming out, I had goosebumps. Chants of 'Brasil, Brasil' take over now as the players pose for photos. This is great, I can only imagine what they'll be like when the World Cup comes to town!
The Brazilian national anthem resounds around the stadium, with Thiago Silva showing particular emotion and passion. The referee for today's game is Pedro Proenca, a Portuguese official, so there won't be any commincation problems for the majority of the players!
Kris Voakes: Massive cheers inside the Estadio Nacional as the Mexican Wave makes its way around the stadium. There remain a fair number of empty seats with 15 minutes to go before kick-off despite Fifa having announced that this game is a sell-out.
Sepp Blatter gives a pre-match speech with the Brazilian prime minister, the latter of which receives a mixed reception from the crowd. Both teams are lined up in the sun, ready for their respective national anthems.
I think everyone can agree that both of the starting line-ups look strong for today's game, but what are your opinions? Could Kagawa and Honda orchestrate a Japanese upset, or will Neymar thrive under the pressure on his shoulders and aid his nation to an opening win? Tweet me your predictions: @simonhfootball.
This newly built stadium is quite a spectacle. Constructions workers were still adding the finishing touches to the stadium earlier, and now it's time for the structure to be put to the test. Yellow shirts are slowly filtering in, as a good attendance looks to be guaranteed.
Japan substitutes: Inoha, G. Sakai, Havenaar, Nishikawa, Hosogai, Nakamura, Kurihara, Maeda, Inui, Takahashi, H. Sakai, Gonda.
Brazil substitutes: Jefferson, Fernando, Lucas, Hernanes, Dante, Filipe Luis, Jean, Rever, Bernard, Jo, Diego Cavalieri, Jadson.
Japan starting line-up: Kawashima; Uchida, Yoshida, Konno, Nagatomo; Endo, Hasebe; Kioytake, Honda, Kagawa; Okazaki.
Brazil starting line-up: Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Paulinho, Luiz Gustavo; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred.
TEAM NEWS: Paulinho and Fred have both overcome injury concerns to be involved tonight, after the latter had tests on a potential thigh issue. Both sides are at full strength.
As Kris mentioned, there aren't too many surprise inclusions in today's squads, and this Japan side are certainly not just here for the experience. With the likes of Honda and Kagawa involved for Zaccheroni's side, any result is possible.
Kris Voakes: The quick flash of the team news on the monitors at the stadium drew accepting nods from the media crews from both Brazil and Japan. There are few surprises in the 22 names chosen to start. There is one surprise to my left though... Somebody in the crowd has arrived wearing an Australia shirt with Harry Kewell's name and number on. That's definitely one shirt I didn't expect to see appearing inside the Mane Garrincha today!
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with proceedings from Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, filled with expectant fans of the home nation. Kris Voakes, Goal correspondent, will be our man on the ground tonight, providing interesting insights from the game itself.
Hello and welcome to Goal's LIVE coverage of the opening game of the 2013 Confederations Cup, between hosts Brazil and Japan. Both sides are fielding strong line-ups for the fixture, with the majority of the pressure certainly on Scolari's men to succeed.
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