Congratulations to Brazil on becoming the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup champions. Everyone wrote Spain as the champions before kick off because of their resume from the past five years. Spain was favored to win this match by the majority of football fans, writers, and myself included. Brazil made us eat our words with their jaw dropping performance in the final. Things look very optimistic for the Brazilian national team especially now that the World Cup is around the corner.
Brazil started fast, they came out strong with their hard pressing game plan. Brazil used an aggressive game plan to disrupt the Spanish possession game plan. At times it looked like Brazil had 12 men on the pitch. The scoring came early in the 2nd minute with Fred scoring a goal as he was on the ground. An early blow to the world champions. Brazil continued their high press, as Spain could not complete a pass. Mid way into the first half Spain earned multiple corners. But the Brazilians defended the set pieces brilliantly, as they cleared their lines they commenced the lethal counter attacks that Spain had no answer for. The Brazilians started to take their shots at Iker Casillas and his back four. Spain almost had a moment of brilliance as Juan Mata was clear on a run. He beat Julio Cesar with his shot, but David Luiz cleared the ball in a last second effort. The Spanish defenders were having trouble marking their men. Álvaro Arbeloa looked lost as Neymar would run past him in transition. He looked so lost that fouling Neymar was the only way of slowing him down. It wasn’t enough to stop the soon to be Barcelona player. Neymar found the back of the net on the 44th minute as he played the offside game cleverly. The nightmare turned into reality wasn’t over for La Roja. Fred found the back of the net again right before the halftime whistle blew. Surely Vicente Del Bosque had work to do at halftime as his team were down 3-0.
The second half started where the first half left off. Spain looked confused as ever and Brazil continued to apply pressure. Jesus Navas, the substitute at half time, was fouled by Marcelo just inside the penalty box prompting the referee to call a penalty. Finally, the break Spain needed. Sergio Ramos went up to take the penalty, as he stepped forward to shoot he yanked it left and missed. After the disappointing penalty attempt, the match started to settle as Spain started to get more possession, but they still looked out of sync. The counter attacks that Brazil deployed were so lethal that the fouling method to slow the players down back fired on Spain. Pique, who was tracking Neymar lunged for a tackle, and did not succeed in getting the ball. The referee had no hesitation to send him off. Now down to ten men and down three goals to none, it started to look like the game was over. But Spain had two legitimate chances to get on the score sheet. But the brilliance of Julio Cesar rejected Pedro from close range, and David Villa from inside the penalty box. It looked like a rare bad night for Spain. By the 80th minute the Spanish side seemed to accept their fate and let Brazil play “keep away” until the clock ran out.
Brazil showed that they have a great blend of veteran players and young talent. Just like Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona earlier this year in the Champions League. They showed the template on how to figure out the Rubik’s cube that is Spain style of play.
Man of the match: Fred, he was all over the pitch. He was defending set pieces, and making great runs all over the pitch in attack. Neymar was granted the golden ball for best player of the tournament.