Live Commentary: Italy 2-4 Brazil - as it happened

Live Commentary: Italy 2-4 Brazil - as it happened
© AP Photos
Sports Mole's live Confederations Cup action as Italy took on Brazil in what proved to be a thriller.

Italy met host country Brazil in their final match of Group A at the Confederations Cup.

Both nations had already qualified for the last four of the competition after beating Japan and Mexico in their opening two matches.

However, both were looking to finish the first round on a high and try to avoid a potential semi-final with Spain.

In an entertaining match, Brazil came out on top in a goal-packed second half.

Read how it all unfolded in our live commentary below.

7.32pmGood evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Confederations Cup as Italy take on Brazil.

7.33pmSo far so good for both sides, who have beaten Japan and Mexico in their opening games to clinch qualification for the semi-finals of the tournament.

7.34pmDespite neither side needing to win this match to progress, the loser is likely to face reigning World and European champions Spain in the last four, after La Roja sealed their qualification against Tahiti.

7.35pmAside from that, there is nothing at stake in what is without a doubt the most eagerly-anticipated group match of the competition.

7.36pmRight, let's get some team news for you...

7.36pmITALY XI: Buffon, Abate, Bonucci, De Sciglio, Chiellini, Candreva, Aquilani, Marchisio, Montolivo, Diamanti, Balotelli

7.37pmSo no midfield talisman Andrea Pirlo for the Azzurri, who misses the match with an injury. Former Liverpool man Alberto Aquilani is drafted into the starting lineup, with Gianluigi Buffon donning the captain's armband.

7.38pmOh, and of course, Mario Balotelli will be gracing the field with his presence this evening.

7.38pmLet's take a look at their substitutes bench.

7.39pmITALY BENCH: Sirigu, Maggio, Astori, Giovinco, Gilardino, El Shaarawy, Barzagli, Cerci, Giaccherini, Marchetti

7.40pmSo a lot to call upon if needs be for Cesare Prandelli, who could look to bring on Stephan El Shaarawy and Sebastian Giovinco.

7.40pmOk, now time for the host nation...

7.40pmBRAZIL XI: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Marcelo, Gustavo, Hernanes, Hulk, Oscar, Neymar, Fred

7.42pmIt's a strong lineup from the Brazilians, who are managed by former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. Main man Neymar starts up top, while captain Thiago Silva is partnered by David Luiz, who shakes off a broken nose to play. Blues teammate Oscar is also given the nod.

7.42pmAnd without further ado, the Brazilian bench...

7.43pmBRAZIL BENCH: Jefferson, Fernando, Lucas Moura, Dante, Filipe Luis, Jean, Rever, Bernard, Jo, Jadson, Cavalieri

7.44pmLike their opponents tonight, Brazil have a lot to offer in the way of substitutions. Lucas Moura, Bernard and Jo all have the potential to do some damage to the Italians.

7.48pmMario Balotelli got a terrific ovation earlier when coming onto the field, but he was outdone when Hulk brought the samba stars into the picture.

7.51pmBrazil haven't lost to Italy since 1982, and I'm sure the home crowd will be expecting that record to remain intact after this evening.

7.54pmThe two sides are in the tunnel, we're not far from the start.

7.54pmAnd out they come in Salvador.

7.55pmStill a few empty seats in the ground, despite the spectacle.

7.55pmTime for the national anthems, first Italy.

7.57pmBrilliant. And now for Brazil.

7.59pmWe'll now have the usual pre-match handshakes and what not, as a huge noise cascades around the stadium.

8pmBoth Neymar and Balotelli have scored twice so far in this tournament.

8.01pmBrazil in yellow shirts with white shirts and socks will play to the left, while Italy sport all blue and play in the other direction.


1 minCHANCE! Brazil have started brilliantly and have had two great chances already. First off Chiellini make a superb last-ditch tackle on Neymar who was through on goal into the box, before Buffon was called into action by saving from Oscar.

2 minIt's all Brazil at the moment.

3 minAquilani clatters Neymar, who goes flying, but he gets away without a card.

6 minItaly starting to get back in the game now, and a free kick sees them win a corner.

7 minHulk tries to break away for Brazil, but De Sciglio can come across to make a good tackle.

8 minYELLOW CARD David Luiz goes into the book for a stupid tackle into the back of Mario Balotelli. That's twice in a minute he has fouled the forward.

9 minDani Alves now gives away a silly foul. He is one of the Brazil players, like Thiago Silva, who is one booking away from missing the semi-finals.

11 minThere are a lot of silly fouls going in at the moment. This game seemed so promising at the start, it's gotten a bit scrappy as of late.

12 minThis certainly isn't a friendly, and is right up the Italians' street.

14 minWe've got a break in play at the moment as David Luiz seems to have hurt himself.

15 minHe played on with a broken nose so I'm sure he'll be fine.

17 minCHANCE! Italy shouldn't have been allowed to get in this position after shocking Brazil defending, but Marchisio breaks down the left and drags the ball back to an under-pressure Balotelli. However, the former City man cannot get enough power on it and he steers it wide of the target.

20 minSome silky football sees Brazil move into the box with Marcelo and Fred, but the Italians read that one and can clear.

21 minAquilani smothers Oscar and gives away a free kick on the edge of the box.

22 minDani Alves and Hulk are both over this one.

22 minItaly manage to eventually scramble it away.

24 minCHANCE! And it was a good one, but Neymar drags it wide from the left of the box after being played in by a lovely flick.

25 minGustavo opts to have a go from range but drags it wide. However, much to the disgust of the Italians, Brazil have a corner.

28 minIt's not a particularly great game here at the moment.

28 minYELLOW CARD Neymar goes into the book after catching Abate late. The Italian looks to be in some pain.

30 minIt looks as if Abate is coming off, it looks to be a serious shoulder injury.

31 minITALY SUB Christian Maggio is coming on in place of the injured Abate.

33 minDante looks as if he is going to replace David Luiz.

33 minBRAZIL SUB David Luiz can't continue and is taken off on a stretcher with a dead leg. Dante jogs on in his local area.

35 minBalotelli looks to be in some discomfort now. I don't know what is going on here.

36 minBuffon flaps at a corner and just gets a finger tip to it to push the ball away from Hulk.

39 minYELLOW CARD Marchisio is booked for a lazy foul on Oscar.

43 minBalotelli is very nearly in there after a mistake from Dante, but the error catches him out and he cannot get full control of the ball.

44 minYELLOW CARD It's another stupid booking but a correct one as Gustavo pulls back his marker after being dispossessed.

45 minWe'll have two minutes of added time.

45+1 minGOAL! Italy 0-1 (Dante)

45+1 minIt's a very popular goal as the local lad Dante slots home. Italy are caught defending terribly from a free kick and Buffon saves well from a head. However, Dante was on hand to knock in the rebound.

8.49pmHALF TIME: Italy 0-1 Brazil

8.50pmAnd with that comes the end of a rather dull first half, livened up by that Dante goal at the end.

9.03pmIt's goalless in the other Group A match between Mexico and Japan.

9.04pmBrazil are hanging around in the tunnel waiting to return to the pitch.

9.05pmThe Italians are back out first.

9.05pmAnd here come Brazil, kick off for the second half is just moments away.


46 minCHANCE! Early opportunity for Brazil as Neymar brings the ball in from the right flank before poking in Oscar on the edge of the box. He manages to get a shot away, but can't do too much with it as Buffon holds it with ease.

49 minA few more fouls at the start of this second half. Let's hope that this doesn't carry on.

51 minBrazil nearly have a chance to score as Fred puts over, but offside has been given.

51 minGOAL! Italy 1-1 Brazil (Emanuele Giaccherini)

52 minItaly are level and it's a superb finish from Giaccherini, who blasts into the far corner from an acute angle on the right. Balotelli, who is now down injured, played a major part in that equaliser. Game on.

53 minNeymar goes down under a tackle from Maggio and the referee awards a free kick right on the edge of the box.

55 minNeymar, Hulk and Fred all fancy this one.

55 minGOAL! Italy 1-2 Brazil (Neymar)

55 minWhat a goal! Neymar does it again. He executes a genius free kick into the far top corner that Buffon didn't see coming. He hit that so hard, and puts his side instantly back in front.

57 minItaly were level for just four minutes, and most of that happened while waiting for the players in the wall to behave prior to the free kick.

58 minThat's picked the atmosphere up alright.

59 minBrazil turning it on now, as Hulk nips inside to Fred who slides through Neymar. He tussles with Maggio, but is beaten on the edge of the box. He then went and made a late challenge, but avoided a second yellow card. Neymar has to keep his emotions in check.

61 minNeymar guilty of another foul, but still gets no second yellow. Balotelli will take about 35 yards out.

62 minCHANCE! Balotelli was always going to have a go from there and bangs it from range. It takes a slight deflection off the top of the wall and dips viciously towards the underside of the crossbar, but Julio Cesar can just push that one away.

63 minItaly having a real go at it now and are playing some decent stuff. Balotelli wants a penalty after being tugged by Dante, and he has a case. It's not given though.

66 minGOAL! Italy 1-3 Brazil (Fred)

66 minIt's an awesome goal from Fred, who brings down a long ball from Marcelo with his thigh while under huge pressure from Chiellini. He takes another touch to take it away from the defender to the left of the box before firing an absolute beauty of finish past Buffon.

69 minBRAZIL SUB Neymar is coming off to a wonderful ovation, and he is replaced by Bernard. He has done his part tonight.

71 minGOAL! Italy 2-3 Brazil (Giorgio Chiellini)

71 minThere is mass confusion as the referee appears to have blown his whistle before the ball hits the back of the net. He looked to be awarding a foul, not sure who for, but Chiellini then slammed home the ball from a corner. It stands, and they're back in it.

73 minITALY SUB Diamanti comes off for the Azzurri, and AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy enters the fray.

74 minI tell you what, this second half has been far better than the first!

74 minItaly are going in for the kill as El Shaarawy heads over from a cross. They've got the momentum.

76 minBRAZIL SUB Hulk is the latest to make way, as Fernando comes on in what is Brazil's final change.

79 minBalotelli goes down under a challenge 35 yards from the Brazil goal. Free kick given, and he wants this.

79 minHe hits the wall, and Brazil can clear.

80 minOFF THE BAR! The corner is whipped in from the right to the edge of the six-yard box, and Maggio connects with a bullet header that almost breaks the crossbar. So close to a leveller, but Brazil still lead. Just.

83 minItaly have a free kick and have to wait a while to take it from the right. Everything thinks that it is going to be crossed in. But it is passed short as Balotelli meets it with a curling effort first time that flies just wide. Nice idea.

86 minItaly still pressing for a goal, Brazil hanging on at the moment.

88 minGOAL! Italy 2-4 Brazil (Fred)

89 minBrazil wrap it up with just minutes to go and it's a second goal for Fred. This time he pounces on a loose ball after Buffon could only parry Marcelo's side-foot effort in front of him. That's that.

90 minItaly are lobbing long balls into the box now, desperation has kicked in.

90 minThree minutes of stoppage time to go.

90+2 minFree kick on the left for Italy, but they mess about with it and Brazil can clear.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Italy 2-4 Brazil

9.55pmAnd that's it, Brazil win the group and maintain their 100% record and will face either Uruguay or Nigeria in the semi-finals.

9.56pmItaly, however, have the unenviable task of facing Spain (in all likelihood) in the last four in what is a repeat of the Euro 2012 final.

9.57pmThat's all from me, I hope you enjoyed the game. Until next time, it's goodbye.

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Cesare Prandelli
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