Confederations Cup: Brazil 2 Uruguay 1

Late Paulinho header sends Brazil to final as protesters and police clash near stadium

Paulinho headed Brazil into the Confederations Cup final with an 86th minute header last night to give the host nation a 2-1 victory over Uruguay as anti-government protesters clashed with police near the Mineirao Stadium.

With the semi-final heading into extra time, Paulinho rose to meet Neymar's corner and score the winner.

Paulinho and Neymar also combined to play a part in Brazil's opener just before half time after Uruguay striker Diego Forlan's penalty was saved early in the game.

Neymar brought down Paulinho's high ball and, after his initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, Fred pounced on the loose ball to score.

Although Edinson Cavani seized on sloppy defending to equalize for Uruguay three minutes into the second half, Brazil fought back to secure victory in the 2014 World Cup warm-up tournament.

Outside the stadium, protesters' anger was directed at the government and police. Inside, the animosity was directed from the start at Uruguay captain Diego Lugano, who enraged Brazil by accusing Neymar of diving on the eve of the match.

The crowd was even more incensed when Lugano won a penalty in the 13th minute, although there was little to dispute David Luiz's tugging of the defender's shirt.

Facing a wall of noise, Forlan struck low and goalkeeper Julio Cesar dived correctly to his left.

It was the fourth penalty out of eight in the tournament so far to be missed.

Forlan, though, was the most potent attacking threat on the pitch as Brazil struggled to impose itself on the South American champions.

The swagger and verve the Brazilians had rediscovered to open the tournament with three group-stage victories was missing in an edgy start by the hosts.

Neymar, on whose shoulders the nation's World Cup hopes are resting, was lacking the service to make an impact.

There was the occasional moment of menace, with Hulk using his strength to burst through the defense, but Uruguay came closer to taking the lead.

Forlan unleashed a curling strike on the half-hour from outside the penalty area which crept wide of the post.

Uruguay's resistance was eventually broken by a deep ball from Paulinho that went high over the defense and reached Neymar.

From a tight angle, Neymar brought the ball down with his chest, and Muslera did well to deny the striker his fourth goal of the tournament.

From the save, the loose ball trickled across the penalty area before reaching Fred. And two defenders proved to be an ineffective barrier, even to a scuffed shot from Fred which landed in the bottom corner of the net.

The relief was clear: Fred jumped over the advertising hoardings to celebrate closer to the Brazil fans who packed the stadium.

Brazil's elation disappeared three minutes into the second half.

Slack defending gifted Uruguay its way back as several chances to clear the danger were wasted. A clearance from Luiz lacked urgency, then Thiago Silva's pass to Marcelo was easily intercepted by Cavani, who scored past Cesar.

However shoddy the work of Brazil's defenders was, the quality of the forward players was starting to shine through as the game became feisty, with five yellow cards awarded.

Brazil pressed and probed for the winner: Fred struck over from Neymar's cross and the star forward had an effort saved himself.

The game was heating up, and Neymar exchanged taunts with Uruguay's Alvaro Gonzalez before sarcastically blowing him a kiss.

But Neymar helped to ensure Brazil had the last say in the match, as he floated a corner into the penalty area that Paulinho rose above Martin Caceres to meet and head into the net.

Brazil will meet Italy or Spain in Sunday's final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.


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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent