SALVADOR, BRAZIL (JUNE 22, 2013) (FIFA) - Goals from Dante, Neymar and a brace from Fred gave Brazil a well-deserved 4-2 victory over Italy on Saturday (June 22) and enabled them to preserve their 100 percent record in the Confederations Cup.
With Neymar in sparkling form and Fred always dangerous in front of goal, Brazilwere the better team for most of a Group A match they never looked like losing.
With both sides already through to the semi-finals of the World Cup warm-up, Italycoach Cesare Prandelli made five changes from the team that started againstJapan in Recife three days ago and opted to pack the midfield.
But even though the home side only needed a point to qualify in first place, they were the hungrier side from the off.
Neymar was involved in the opening goal right on halftime. His inswinging free kick from the left was headed goalbound by Fred and when goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffoncould only parry it out, Dante was on hand to sidefoot the ball home.
Their lead did not last long, however. Four minutes later Neymar scored from a free kick, curling a perfect shot into the top corner of the net past a helpless Buffon.
Fred increased Brazil's lead in the 66th minute when he latched onto a long ball from Marcelo and held off defender Giorgio Chiellini before smashing the ball into the roof of the net from six metres.
Italy were down but not out and they snatched a goal back in the 71st minute. The Brazilian defence failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Chiellini, who fired home despite Brazil protests that the referee had already blown for a foul on Mario Balotelli.
Fred put a more accurate sheen on the result when he scored a fourth just a minute from time. Buffon was unable to hold a Marcelo shot and the striker was on hand to slot home.