News / Americas

    Brazil Beats Japan, Protests Spoil Confederations Cup Opening Day

    Brazil's Paulinho (2nd R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match against Japan at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    Brazil's Paulinho (2nd R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match against Japan at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    Reuters
    Neymar's stunning early strike set Brazil on the way to a 3-0 win over Japan in the opening match of the Confederations Cup on Saturday although the occasion was marred by trouble at a protest outside the stadium.

    More than 30 people were injured and 22 arrested as police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protestors angry at the amount of public money being spent on stadiums for the tournament and next year's World Cup.

    President Dilma Rousseff and FIFA president Sepp Blatter were jeered before the match at the Mane Garrincha National stadium as the public showed their discontent.

    Soccer fans walk away from a cloud of tear gas as riot police clash with demonstrators outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.Soccer fans walk away from a cloud of tear gas as riot police clash with demonstrators outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    x
    Soccer fans walk away from a cloud of tear gas as riot police clash with demonstrators outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    Soccer fans walk away from a cloud of tear gas as riot police clash with demonstrators outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    Some fans in the 67,000 crowd had to be treated for the effects of tear gas fired by riot police at about 500 protesters outside the rebuilt stadium, which like many other venues has been plagued by delays.

    On the field, it was plain sailing for five-times world champions Brazil as second-half goals from Paulinho and substitute Jo completed a comfortable win in Group A of the eight-team tournament.

    Boosted by Neymar's early strike, Brazil, playing their first competitive match since the Copa America nearly two years ago, dealt competently with the Asian champions who created some nice moves in midfield but lacked punch.

    "What mattered most was the result and this continued the tactical evolution of the team," said Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose side beat France 3-0 in a friendly last Sunday.

    "I thought Neymar played very well, he ended a run without scoring, and I only took him off as he had a slight injury," added Scolari. "I've no idea what happened outside the stadium, I have to focus on my team and I can't comment on that."

    Fickle Fans

    The game, featuring the only two countries already sure of a place in next year's World Cup, came alive after three minutes when Neymar smashed home a right-foot shot from the edge of the area after a long cross from Marcelo was chested down by Fred.

    Fans hold a Brazilian flag before the Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between Brazil and Japan, June 15, 2013.Fans hold a Brazilian flag before the Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between Brazil and Japan, June 15, 2013.
    x
    Fans hold a Brazilian flag before the Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between Brazil and Japan, June 15, 2013.
    Fans hold a Brazilian flag before the Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between Brazil and Japan, June 15, 2013.
    That lifted the spritis of the fickle yellow-shirted home fans but they began to show their impatience soon enough as Brazil failed to build on the early goal and Japan came into the match with Keisuke Honda making inroads in midfield.

    Japan, who started with only Shinji Okazaki as the nominal front man, began to look increasingly dangerous with some incisive moves through the middle but they never seriously troubled goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

    Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni was surprised at the way his team performed, saying, "Normally we play with a different approach and we make fewer mistakes and take the imitative much more and this did not happen today."

    "Either we were so shocked by going one down so early that this worried us and we did not play our normal game, or we were tired following our recent flight back from Qatar and we did not have time to regain our full fitness," he added referring to the return from Doha after beating Iraq in a World Cup qualifier.

    "Either way, I'm not that upset but I'm disappointed because we can play much better than that," he said. "And to be honest, I haven't learnt that much about my team that I didn't know already - the truer test will come in the games against Mexico and Italy."

    Brazil's Paulinho (4th R) scores past Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.Brazil's Paulinho (4th R) scores past Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    x
    Brazil's Paulinho (4th R) scores past Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    Brazil's Paulinho (4th R) scores past Japan's goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima during their Confederations Cup Group A soccer match in Brasilia, June 15, 2013.
    Despite allowing Japan the room to indulge in some clever passing play, Brazil also showed flashes of flair.

    Neymar, who told reporters afterwards he was fit and had only suffered a slight knock, produced a little shimmy on the left, but failed to get past his marker, while Hulk, working up the right wing, fired into the side netting.

    Impressive striker Fred forced Eiji Kawashima into a fine one-handed save with a low snapshot after a floated cross from Neymar two minutes before the break.

    Three minutes after the interval, Brazil did find the net again when Paulinho met Dani Alves's cross and blasted home.

    In a largely uneventful second half, Brazil coped easily with the limited danger Japan created before Jo finished off a counter-attack to wrap up the victory nine minutes after replacing Fred.

    The match was the first international to feature goal-line technology although the technology was not called into action.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    In Colombia, Abortion Is Legal but Denied to Many Women, Advocates Say

    Colombia, a nation of 48 million people, allows abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal malformation, if the fetus is at risk and if the health, both physical and mental, of the mother is at risk

    Colombia Says 2 More Journalists Missing in Rough Area

    Journalists missing in region where security forces are already carrying out massive search for prominent Spanish journalist, President Juan Manuel Santos said Tuesday

    Cuba to Legalize Small, Medium-sized Private Businesses

    Move could significantly expand space allowed for private enterprise in one of world's last communist countries

    Coca Cola to Halt Some Production in Venezuela

    Sugar shortages and a deep recession have been forcing production shutdowns across the country

    Recording Allegedly Shows Minister Plotting Against Brazil's Rousseff

    Planning Minister Romero Jucá, who will step down temporarily, denies allegation, says words in published transcript of tape were taken out of context

    Mercury Poisoning Prompts Peru to Declare State of Emergency in Amazon

    People, rivers and fish poisoned; government blames illegal gold mining