The culminating game of the 2013 Confederations Cup was billed as a potential preview of a 2014 World Cup dream final, with reigning world champion Spain playing a rejuvenated Brazilian squad. (The Cup is an eight-team tournament featuring a host nation, the defending World Cup champ, and the six FIFA continental champions.) It was supposed to be a back-and-forth match between two powerhouse teams. Brazil made sure that didn’t happen.
Around the two-minute mark, Fred (yep, one name. “Fred”!) got things started for Brazil with one of the sloppiest goals you will ever see.
A chip shot from the ground. Fall over face first, then kick desperately. Straight out of the playbook.
As the action settled down, Spain had an opportunity to tie the game, but Brazilian defender David Luiz made a miraculous sliding save, clearing the ball over the net at an impossible angle.
Not too long after, Neymar booted his fourth goal of the tournament, securing a two-goal lead right before halftime.
Then Fred put the game away for good with a quick second-half goal — his fifth of the tournament and second of the match.
To make matters worse, Sergio Ramos blew a penalty kick in the 54th minute, summing up the day for Spain.
The win gave Brazil its third straight Confederations Cup trophy, and extended its streak of not having lost a non-exhibition home match since 1975. Meanwhile, Spain lost its first non-exhibition game since its 2010 World Cup opener against Switzerland. So if this was a preview of the 2014 World Cup, it’s safe to assume that Brazil will be considered a heavy favorite.