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Confederations Cup: Brazil vs. South Africa (Matchday Commentary)

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With one semifinal match already in the books, South Africa and Brazil will battle it out at Ellis Park in the second semifinal match (2:25pm, ESPN) of the Confederations Cup. The prize for the winner? A date with with the United States in the final on Sunday.

The hosts will look to repeat the United States' shocking result over a heavyweight with their own surpising result over the Selecao, while Brazil will look to build on their 3-0 triumph over Italy.

This is GianFranco Panizo and I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here, and as always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below.

Enjoy the match:

FULLTIME – That's all for me today. Thanks to all of you who followed along. Be sure to check out SBI for coverage of the U.S. national team and Sunday's Confederations Cup final with Brazil.

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FULLTIME – South Africa will play Spain in the third place match on Sunday and can still get a respectable finish if they can manage to give Spain it's second consecutive defeat.

As for Brazil, they will take on the United States on Sunday in the Confederations Cup final. Yes, the U.S. was destroyed 3-0 in the group stage by the Selecao, but the U.S. team that has played since then is much different.

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FULLTIME – South Africa played its best game of the entire tournament but couldn't find the back of the net.

Brazil looked surprisingly bad. The team didn't create many attacking opportunities and it took a late free kick from close range to beat the hosts.

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91st minute – Brazil just eating the clock. And there is the final whistle.

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90th minute – The South African fans' expressions are of utter disbelief. What a heart-breaking free kick.

A pair of subs for South Africa and Kleberson in for Luis Fabiano.

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89th minute – South Africa is just about to make its first sub. Too little too late.

Nice passing by Brazil and Luis Fabiano shoots a sitter right at Khune. One minute of stoppage time to be added.

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86th minute – GOAL BRAZIL! Dani Alves strikes the free kick to the far post and catches Khune by surprise. Well hit ball and Dunga's questionable substitution now looks like a genius move.

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85th minute – Free kick given to Brazil at the edge of the penalty area. This is dangerous.

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83rd minute – Foul called on Lucio, who pleads to the ref to explain what he just called. Lucio has a point on this one as it didn't look like a foul.

Free kick goes straight into the hands of Julio Cesar. Nothing doing on that one.

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81st minute – First sub of the day. Dani Alves for Andre Santos. Alves will provide more of a threat going forward but we'll see how he does playing on the left side.

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80th minute – Stalemate with ten minutes to play. If this game goes into extra time then it would bode well for the Americans as they'd play a tired team on one more day's rest.

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77th minute – No substitutes made by either team as of yet. You have to think there are some tired legs out there. Will that come back to haunt one of these two teams?

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75th minute – Kaka attempts to create something on his own but he gets tackled and loses the ball. Not a good day for Brazil's big three; Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano.

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73rd minute – Some nifty footwork on the left flank allows for Tshabalala to get a cross off but it is just too high for any attacker to find.

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71st minute – Nothing comes of the free kick. South Africa has played well today but Brazil has looked poor. Very poor.

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71st minute -  Mhlongo gets called for a foul and a dangerous free kick for Brazil from the left flank will ensue.

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68th minute – Not much from Brazil right now. Maybe it's time for Alexandre Pato to come in?

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65th minute – A Bafana Bafana cross gets headed away by Luisao.

The corner kick sails over everybody.

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63rd minute – Lucio outmuscles the outsized Pienaar for a ball and Pienaar commits a foul on the burly defender.

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61st minute – Fabiano hits a shot from the right side but another sturdy save from Khune.

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60th minute – Andre Santos kills a South African counter with a foul. He gets a yellow for his worries.

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59th minute – You can expect the Brazilian media to criticize Dunga's performance today, no matter the outcome.

Wow, for the first time all tournament, the signing of the crowd drowns out the buzzing of the vuvuzelas. South African fans know their team is taking the game to Brazil.

———

57th minute – A South African shot takes a deflection and almost surprises Julio Cesar who just gets a hand on it! Amazing! South Africa must have skipped a hearbeat there.

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55th minute – South Africa concedes a corner. Oh wait, referee calls it South Africa's way and Kaka is livid.

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51st minute – Maicon gets forward and hits a good cross but Kaka fouls his defender as he attempts to get up for the header.

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49th minute – Pienaar is down. On the replay it looks like Kaka made a slick attempt at an elbow.

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48th minute – Kaka with a nice run but his final pass is cleared out of danger.

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46th minute – And we're off. Who will play the U.S. on Sunday and who will meet with Spain for the third-place match?

———

HALFTIME – Highlights from yesterday's USA-Spain game are being shown. Pinch yourselves folks because you're not dreaming, the U.S. did beat #1 ranked Spain yesterday.

There goes Alexi on the vuvuzela again. Maybe he'll bring it to all the U.S. games from here until South Africa 2010.

———

HALFTIME – Steven Pienaar has impressed in this first half. When he's been on, South Africa has looked dangerous. Brazil needs from its star players. Robinho hasn't done much and Kaka has looked good but not world-record transfer fee good.

—–

HALFTIME – And Alexi Lalas is showing us his vuvuzela skills on ESPN's halftime coverage. Come on admit it, you want your own personal U.S. colored vuvuzela.

———

HALFTIME – What does everyone think of this half of soccer? Do you think the U.S. can win the final against either of these teams?

———

HALFTIME – South Africa 0, Brazil 0. The two teams have gone back and forth but the best opportunity of the half was the open-look header from Mokoena that sailed just high.

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45th minute – Andre Santos tries to get the set piece on frame but the wall blocks any chance of that happening.

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44th minute – Masilela with a dangerous foul on Andre Santos and he is given a yellow card. That looked worse than Michael Bradley's tackle yesterday and yet he was given a red.

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42nd minute – Pienaar nails a shot just outside the area but it goes JUST wide. The shot had Julio Cesar beat.

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41st minute – Kaka blazes forward before hitting a low shot that is easily handled by Khune.

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40th minute – Is it just me or is South Africa pulling a Brazil-like performance with all their flicks and tricks? Joga Bafana Bafana!

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39th minute – Pienaar hasn't gotten involved much in the last few minutes and South Africa's attack has struggled to get things going since.

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36th minute – Kaka with a beautiful move past a defender before hitting a curler that just goes wide

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36th minute – The left side of Brazil looks like an achilles heel. South Africa needs to exploit it more and maybe they'll find a goal as Egypt did in the Group B opener.

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33rd minute – A well-hit shot from Andre Santos from around 20 yards is saved by Khune.

———

31st minute – Robinho gets a shot on goal from close range but is flagged offside.

With every passing minute, Brazil looks more and more frustrated.

———-

30th minute – Felipe Melo is given a yellow card for a late tackle. Good job by the referre to give the advantage there.

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29th minute – The corner results in a header that is well wide.

———

28th minute – The free kick gets hit well but Julio Cesar smacks the driven shot out for a corner.

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28th minute – Luisao commits a foul and gifts South Africa a dangerous free kick. Can Julio Cesar get beaten from around 25 yards?

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27th minute – Pienarr is now attacking more centrally as opposed to on the left flank where he was in the beginning of the match.

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26th minute – Like the U.S. yesterday, South Africa does not looked phased by their talented foes. South Africa is looking really aggressive right now.

———–

24th minute – Brazil on the counter attack. Robinho step-overs passed one defender before having the ensuing passed cleared away by Boooooooth.

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22nd minute – Brazil's backline is starting to look shaky all of a sudden.

South Africa with much of the possession in the last few minutes.

——

20th minute – Free kick for South Africa. The cross goes to the back post and Mokoena looses Lucio's mark before heading the ball too high. South Africa HAS to finish those open looks.

————–

18th minute – Robinho brings out his bag of tricks only to get stripped of the ball.

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16th minute – You know Bob Bradley and the rest of the U.S. team are watching this game not only to see who their opponent on Sunday will be but also to learn a bit more about their foe's style of play.

——–

16th minute – A mis-guided pass from South Africa almost led to a dangerous Brazil opportunity but Ramires hit a bad pass of his own that Booth booted cleared.

————

14th minute – Pienaar with some nice moves in the midfield but once again he gets tripped up by Brazil.

———

13th minute – Gaxa gets by Andre Santos and unleashes a shot that sails wide. Good look for South Africa there.

———–

12th minute – Ramires gets a shot off from about 20 yards out but goalkeeper Khune makes a sure grab.

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10th minute – Pienaar has been active and will probably be the key man if South Africa are to get a goal today.

———–

7th minute – South African defender Matthew Booth breaks up a Brazilian attack and gets an Oguchi Onyewu-like chant. "Booooooooooooooth"

————–

5th minute – Brazil patiently knocks the ball around, looking for a crack in the South African defense. Who brought their vuvuzelas with them today?

————-

3rd minute – Kaka trips Pienaar and gets called for the foul.

—————

1st minute – And we're off.

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PRE-GAME: Brazil is coming out with their 4-5-1 hybrid formation while South Africa is deploying a 4-4-1-1. 

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PRE-GAME: Bafana Bafan's starting XI consists of Itumeleng Khune, Aaron Mokoena, Siboniso Gaxa, Matthew Booth, Tsepo Masilela, Steven Pienaar, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Teko Modis, Benson Mhlongo and Bernard Parker

———

PRE-GAME: Brazil's starting XI is made up of Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Luisao, Andre Santos, Gilberto Silva, Kaka, Ramires, Felipe Melo, Robinho and Luis Fabiano.

90 comments
  • DC Josh

    Bring it Brazil!

    I’d much rather play Brasil and see what the US can do than play South Africa, who can really put the pressure on, but obviously are an inferior team.

    Like

  • Memrook

    Yes! I can’t wait to play Brazil again, now that BB has seemingly figured the lineup now and the team is playing with the passion and pride it always should have been. This is gonna be a great game methinks!

    Like

  • Angel

    Well is going to be USA v. Brasil and I hope this time we get to have a good Team on the field, No Sasha or Beasley please. I think South Africa give the USA a blue print on how to win against Brazil. Used 2 Striker on top. Dempsey and Altidore. Donovan, Torres(Adu) Feilhaber.

    Like

  • Jamie Z.

    I welcome the challenge from Brazil. In all honesty, I think we stand to gain more respect internationally with a tightly contested match against Brazil — win or lose — than we would in beating South Africa.

    Like

  • TimN

    Well, you can look at this result in a couple of ways:

    1. It may have been easier on us to face a less talented RSA team in the final, but then again playing them at home in the tourney they’re hosting could have also made RSA a very formidable opponent…all the pride stuff, ya’ know.

    2. What can we do against Brasil this time around? I hate that we won’t have Bradley, but I feel good about Feilhaber coming in to replace him. I think we have now found a rythym in our last two games, and perhaps we can bring an A-game to Brasil and give them a real test…another upset??? That would be truly awesome!

    Like

  • Johnny G

    The momentum and confidence the USMNT has at the moment, they could pull off another upset. I’m hoping for 2 great games on Sunday.

    Like

  • SG

    Glad Brazil won. In the end the experience will do them justice for next summer when it counts.

    Like

  • AdamTheRed

    The Spain team seems to be upset there is a 3rd place game…they would rather go on vacation.

    Like

  • Isaac

    We’re not going to see Freddy Adu against Brazil so everyone just calm down.

    Like

  • goalscorer24

    USA vs Brazil! Holy smokes, but I think this version of the US team can play with them.

    Like

  • jim b

    Anyone catch Jim Rome’s little tirade at the start of his show? God I hate that ass****. Instead of congratulating the team and showing a smidgen of national pride, he takes the opportunity to belittle soccer calling it “not so much a sport as a reason to riot”, why? He then cheers the US team with a juicebox. You’d think that with all the money ESPN has spent to gain broadcasting rights they’s tell that douchebag to put a lid on it. Sorry to derail things, I just effin hate that assclown.

    Go USA

    Like

  • TimN

    @ jim b,

    No I didn’t, but I wouldn’t let him crawl under your skin. He’s nothing more than yet another no-nothing American sports commentator when it comes to soccer. He belittles soccer, yet has no problem with the numerous douchebag NBA, NFL, and MLB players that cheat, do steroids, get arrested, beat their wives/kids, etc., etc., etc., and disgrace themselves ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME…whatever!

    Like

  • Danny

    I think after this match Brazil wants us to THINK that they are beatable so that we don’t play as hard.

    Like

  • Leonardo

    jim rome, the shockjock wash-up, is a clown. but i didn’t hear him say that yesterday. i heard him say “way to go boys!” seriously. i was surprised. course it lasted like 3 seconds but it was decent. the rest was about booooring nba.

    Like

  • Rastafari

    Did a Phantom foul another Brazilian just outside the box…? that stadium must be haunted.

    Booooooooo

    Like

  • vivalosburros

    Around the Horn and PTI gave some good airtime and said some good words about the US team. Good to see

    Like

  • Langan

    I heard Romes lil mock of us soccer and the sport in whole…glad someone else got as P.O’d about it as i did

    Like

  • Brett

    It amazes me that people still talk about Jim Rome and his idiotic opinions.

    ESPN is a sham and Jim Rome is just another punk who couldn’t play sports, so he made up an overconfident radio/TV persona to cope.

    We were a completely different team against Spain. If that team shows up against Brazil, it’s going to be anyone’s game.

    Like

  • SG

    Jim Rome is a douche who probably goes tanning twice a day. He has no clue and never will. Who cares, there are always gonna be people like him and who needs their opinion anyway…

    Like

  • lumpy

    I smell match-fixing. This tournament is so rigged. The United States is being made to look better than we are. I think they are paying the top teams to lose games to let the U.S. through. Huge $$$ motive if soccer becomes big like the NFL in the States. Match fixing is a fact of life. Everyone has heard of boxers being paid to take a fall, etc. All for money. The US is maybe 50th in the world. They are playing us for “suckers” like a pool shark.

    Like

  • i like my oatmeal lumpy

    “i smell match-fixing”

    well that’s swell, because i smell an idiot

    Like

  • lumpy

    Ex. Watch the Landon Donovan cross that assisted the Dempsey goal against Spain in “slow mo”. The Spanish defender marking LD drags his left foot and lets LD’s cross go thru his legs! If he was sharp enough to let it thru, he was sharp enough to clear it out. He CHOSE to let it thru! Difficult to explain w/o some kind of match-fixing involved. That’s what I say.

    Like

  • Fulham Pete

    Sports : Jim Rome :: Politics : ________

    Any takers?

    Try Rush Limbaugh.

    Another Big Fat Idiot, except for the fat part…and the oxycontin…and…

    Like

  • William

    If you hate Jim Rome, you should see him get his butt spanked by Jim Everett. Oldie but a goodie.

    Like

  • homage

    Ives (a request): SPREAD THE WORD

    I say word goes out to the USMNT to celebrate any goal against Brazil in “MOOnWALK” fashion. Let the word go out—>Jozy, Dempsey, Davies, Donovan or any other member who scores against Brazil: MOONWALK, BABY!

    Like

  • Rich

    JK – I did not see the match, but I am willing to bet the Brazil we would have seen if the final were going to be against Spain, was not the team that played today. I bet the team that play was much more interested in testing themselves against the #1 team in the world (with something to prove) than one more time against the US.

    Then again they will be happy to try and win the whole thing also.

    Win Win for them.

    Still I hope we play as well as we did against Spain (a make up for the lack of JR) and beat them.

    Like

  • Gitecmo Slunkmeat

    Alright Ives, were you responsible for the ESPN PBP Live Commentary? It was hilarious.

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/gamecast?id=266848&league=FIFA.CONFEDERATIONS&cc=5901

    85′ And another thing I’ve just noticed. The very front of Dunga’s hair hides the baldness that lies behind it. Good effort, but not good enough.

    84′ Melo is robbed by Modise and Lucio is then adjudged to have fouled Pienaar, which elicits a tantrum. It’s been bothering me all night, and I’m pleased to say I’ve at last realised who Lucio reminds me of – it’s Ivan Lendl.

    83′ Luisao has really quite a magnificent nose

    Like

  • Jim P

    If we can beat Spain we can beat Brazil. We need to have enough confidence to attack (the best form of defense) if we can limit Brazil’s time and space like we did Spain we can win. The two back for Brazil are shaky I could definitely see us scoring a goal in the air. My lineup

    Altidore — Dempsey

    Donovan — Torres — Clark –Feilbaher

    Bocanegra — Gooch –DeMerit — Spector

    Howard

    With the back for sewed up I would love to see a permanent move of Dempsey forward and Frankie at right half.

    Like

  • Memrook

    Alright, Bradley has a red, so the lineup oughtta be

    Altidore – Davies

    Donovan – Feilhaber – Clark – Dempsey

    Bocanegra – Gooch – DeMerit – Spector

    Howard

    Pretty much the same against Spain, but obviously Feilhaber slots in Bradley’s role. Donovan uses his speed to exploit on the left and Davies uses his speed to exploit in behind and help out on the right. We saw today with SA/Brazil that speedy attacks really neutralize Brazil. Now all we need from our boys is the same exact effort against Spain.

    Like

  • Kevin

    Lumpy’s got the Kool Aid going!

    BTW, Americans, there’s plenty of room on the bandwagon, jump right on! And buy your kids a soccer ball, for god’s sake.

    Like

  • Never First

    OK, I also want to know who provided the play-by-play commentary for ESPN Soccernet. It doesn’t seem like Ives, but it’s hilarious for the entire match. Not sure it was heavy on soccer analysis, but some keen observations about players’ looks.

    Like

  • Never First

    lumpy, you think soccer is going to become big in this country if we win the Confederations Cup? Please shut up.

    Like

  • jim b

    I agree with homage, ANY goal scored by the US needs to be celebrated with a moonwalk…could be tough in cleats though … maybe just a spin and leg kick … I guess they could just go all out MJ, jump into the stands and start groping young boys. Too soon? I’d love to see jozy celebrate a goal in a fifa final with a moonwalk.

    Like

  • Homage

    I agree Jim b: Let them go all out GREEK style– flute players and all. BTW, you do have a vivid imagination.

    Like

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