Brazil – youth, power, and a distaste for the passing game

June 22, 2009

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“Sunday was the 39th anniversary of a previous Brazil victory over Italy by a three-goal margin. One of the main architects of that 4-1 win in the final of the 1970 World Cup was Pele, who last week was criticising the current Brazil side.” (BBC)

Notes from South Africa: The Forbidden Vuvuzela (The Run of Play – Anders Wollek)
“The Confederations Cup is underway in South Africa. Despite a disappointing result by the home team, a scoreless draw with Iraq, the interest level here is steadily rising. It’s helped that three of the games have been great spectacles in themselves: Spain’s 5-0 demolition of New Zealand, a 4-3 thriller between Brazil and Egypt, and a tense affair between Italy and the U.S., where the World Champions had to come back from a goal down against a U.S. team playing with ten men.”

Kaká Gives Brazil a Touch of Class in Confederations Cup (NYT)
“Five minutes into Brazil’s opening match at the Confederations Cup, Kaká settled a pass with his left foot, chipped the ball over one Egyptian defender, then another, and drove the ball low into the net.”

Brazil’s rocks of strength (FIFA)
“Brazil are sure to remember their handsome 3-0 defeat of Italy in Tshwane/Pretoria on Sunday for a long time. After all, comfortable wins over old adversaries tend to be few and far between, which explains why the Brazilians were celebrating gleefully at the final whistle and then in the changing room.”

Italy – Brazil (0-3): Confederations Cup (Mighty Football)

An American miracle (FIFA)
“It may have only been half-time in their second outing, but USA were already resigned to an early flight home. Having lost their opener 3-1 to Italy, Bob Bradley’s team trailed Brazil 2-0 en route to a 3-0 defeat that left the door seemingly padlocked on their chances of reaching the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 semi-finals.”

U.S. shows passion and heart to rout Egypt (ESPN)
“Bob Bradley could have looked at the scenarios the United States needed to advance in the Confederations Cup and decided that Sunday’s game against Egypt would be a game to rest veterans and give youngsters a look. He could have decided, as most might have in his position, that beating Egypt 3-0 and having Italy lose 3-0 was such an improbability that even planning for that possibility would be crazy.”

U.S. Advances in Confederations Cup (NYT)
“One seemed more unlikely than the other, that the United States would win by three goals and that Italy would lose by three goals Sunday in the Confederations Cup.”

Egypt – USA (0-3): Confederations Cup (Mighty Football)

Flawless Spain flying high (FIFA)
“After three games, Spain have amassed nine points, scoring eight goals, conceding none, and playing fantastic football along the way. With records for consecutive wins and matches unbeaten to their name, what more could la Selección have wanted from the group stage of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009?”

Castrol Index: Leading trio emerge (FIFA)
“David Villa has been the outstanding player of South Africa 2009’s group phase. That is the headline conclusion of the latest FIFA Confederations Cup Castrol Index, which shows the emergence of a heavyweight trio of contenders at the top.”

Africa responding to noise of the vuvuzela (ESPN)
“With the group stages now over and less than a week of the Confederations Cup left, South Africa’s dry run for the World Cup is proving something of a mixed bag.”

Brazil knock out Italy from Confederations Cup (Times)
“Brazil knocked world champions Italy out of the Confederations Cup with three quick goals just before half-time to earn a 3-0 victory on Sunday. Strikes from Luis Fabiano after 37 and 43 minutes and an own goal from Andrea Dossena just before the interval left the competition’s defending champions top of group B and set up a semi-final against host nation South Africa in Johannesburg on Thursday.”

Matthew Booth a white knight for the black masses (Times)
“One of the things you pick up rather quickly here in South Africa is that things aren’t always what they seem. Or, rather, that our untrained eyes (and ears), coupled with our own prejudices, can lead us to the entirely wrong conclusion.”

CONFEDERATIONS CUP (WorldSoccer)

World Cup 2010 map (BBC)