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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

Colorful Macaws Bring Beauty to Chaotic Caracas

Long-tailed birds color Venezuelan capital's sky, giving its 5 million residents a moment of quiet respite from noise and crime
More

Colombia's ELN Rebels: Peace Talks Near, Rule Out Jail

Commander's comments come as pressure mounts for President Santos to conclude peace talks with far larger FARC group and to show progress with ELN
More

Photogallery Chile Volcano Still Puffing; Flights Canceled in Argentina

Calbuco, which erupted Wednesday without warning, continues to spew ash, smoke
More

Former Spy Master Flees Argentina Amid Threats

Antonio Stiuso contends government is trying to sully his reputation following death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman
More

Chile, Argentina Cancel Flights as Volcanic Ash Cloud Spreads

Argentina's meteorology service forecast ash cloud could reach La Pampa; more than 4,000 people have been evacuated from immediate area
More

Deals Extend Russia's Energy Cooperation With Argentina

Accords underscore Moscow's effort to enhance South American ties since coming under Western sanctions over Ukraine crisis
More