Brazil 4 Italy 2 match report: Neymar sets the tone for Brazil by scoring in his third successive Confederations Cup game

Barcelona new boy on target again as hosts maintain their perfect start to the tournament

Brazil finished top of Confederations Cup Group A by beating Italy in their final pool game in Salvador this evening.

Barcelona new boy Neymar maintained his record of scoring in each match at the tournament so far by grabbing his team's second goal as the hosts forged ahead for a second time after Dante's opener had been cancelled out by Emanuele Giaccherini.

Fred then netted twice, with Giorgio Chiellini on target in between, as the hosts extended their perfect start to the competition to head into the knockout stage - alongside the Azzurri - full of momentum.

Both teams headed into the game having already assured their places in the semi-finals, having beaten Mexico and Japan in their previous outings, and were effectively playing for the right to avoid in-form world and European champions Spain in the next round.

The game looked set to be goalless at the break but the deadlock was finally broken in first-half stoppage time, defender Dante pouncing from close range after Fred's header had been brilliantly parried by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Giaccherini, teed up by Mario Balotelli, rounded off a swift counter-attack to get Italy back on level terms within six minutes of the restart.

Parity lasted less than four minutes, however, before Neymar placed a fine free-kick into the top corner, leaving Buffon stranded.

Fluminense forward Fred then extended Brazil's lead with a neat finish into the top-left corner from Marcelo's pass midway through the second period.

Chiellini gave Italy hope of a comeback when he converted Alberto Aquilani's assist five minutes later, and they were within a whisker of making it 3-3 10 minutes from time when Cristian Maggio's header smashed against the bar.

But the equaliser was not forthcoming and Fred restored the 2014 World Cup hosts' two-goal cushion in the 88th minute with another close-range strike after Buffon had denied Marcelo.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor