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.

AP

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
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

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower