Confederations Cup 2013: Three lessons as Brazil ease past Japan
Confederations Cup 2013: What lessons did we learn as Brazil secured an emphatic 3-0 win against Japan in the opener?
Neymar starts with a bang
On paper, this match may not have looked the most attractive fixture ever, but a positive result here was always going to be vital for Brazil. Thankfully for the home fans, they achieved exactly that on Saturday night as they overcame Alberto Zaccheroni’s Japan side courtesy of a 3-0 victory. And, it was the newly-unveiled Barcelona striker, Neymar who took it upon himself to kick-start his side’s push for victory within the opening three minutes as he smashed home a beautiful goal past the floundering Eiji Kawashima. The goal was an absolutely fantastic strike that will have done Neymar’s already sky-high confidence no harm whatsoever and will have eased any concerns that may have been lingering regarding the readiness of A Seleção for this tournament. The strike was his 21st international goal, and provided the former Santos man remembers to keep his shooting boots on for the remainder of the tournament, any goalkeeper will find it a challenge to deny him increasing his tally.
Scolari gets his third win as manager
Since returning to the fray as Brazil manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari hasn’t had the best of times at the helm. Before Saturday night’s encounter with Japan, Big Phil had only managed to steer his side to two wins from the last seven, and there hasn’t been a lot of confidence in the former Chelsea manager, despite his excellent track record in bringing home the most sought-after silverware in international football. This weekend’s victory, however, means that he has now earned his third win, and will be hoping to use it as a springboard for the remainder of the tournament. Of course, the Confederations Cup isn’t the most important of trophies, however, it is vital for the confidence of his squad that they at least reach the final, particularly seeing as they haven’t lost on home soil since 2002.
Brazil prove too strong for Japan
Despite showing signs of promise and skill, Japan never really looked like they would recover from Neymar’s early goal. The strike made an already difficult task ten times harder, as they battled valiantly to pressurise and harry the Brazilians into giving up possession. And, although they had a few chances to trouble Júlio Cesar with Honda and Yuto Nagamoto trying their level best to beat the Queens Park Rangers man, they simply couldn’t rattle the net. In the end, Brazil simply oozed far too much class for their Group A opponents as Oscar, Hulk and Lucas Moura were able to maintain possession for long periods while probing for that killer pass. In truth, Brazil’s final goal, which underlined Chelsea star, Oscar’s, superb passing ability to find Jo also highlighted the massive gulf in class between the two sides.