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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Attack on Colombian Police Kills 7

Defense ministry vows to 'maintain and intensify' operations against armed groups, drug traffickers following the attack
More

Chronically Hungry Numbers Decline

Three U.N. agencies have released the State of Food Security in the World report
More

UN: Enforced Disappearances Continue Unabated Globally

UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances says more than 43,000 cases from 88 countries still remain to be clarified
More

Hurricane Odile Weakens, Still a Threat to Mexico

Odile could drench Baja California with as much as 46 centimeters of rain by Friday
More

Powerful Hurricane Threatens Mexico's Baja California

US forecasters have downgraded Odile to strong Category 3 storm, with top sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour
More

Hard-hitting Films Tackle Homelessness at Toronto Festival

'Time Out of Mind,' 'Shelter,' and 'Heaven Knows What' all focus on characters struggling with homelessness, addiction on the streets of New York
More