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Italy vs Brazil and Japan vs Mexico, Confederations Cup: Open Thread

For the old fogies like me, Italy against Brazil conjures up memories of the 1982 World Cup in one of the greatest World Cup matches in the history of the tournament.

Italy faced Brazil in the second round. For a trip down memory lane, here are the wonderful highlights from the match:

If today’s match between Italy and Brazil can come even close to the great 1982 match, we’re in for a treat. Both sides have already clinched their place in the semi-final, but today’s match will help decide who ends up top of their group.

Importantly, Andrea Pirlo is out of this match, which will most probably hurt the Italian team since everything goes through him. So Riccardo Montolivo takes the Pirlo deep-lying playmaker role. Brazil are yet to concede a goal. While both teams are already in the next round, both Brazil and Italy will want to get a good result today to carry on the momentum into the semis.

Starting teams:

Italy: Buffon; Abate, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Aquilani, Montolivo; Marchisio, Diamanti, Candreva; Balotelli

Brazil: Julio Cesar; Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Hernanes, Luiz Gustavo; Hulk, Oscar, Neymar; Fred

In the other match today, Japan plays Mexico. Both teams are out of the next round, but both teams will want to go home with a win today so they don’t end up with the wooden spoon.

For viewers in the United States, you can watch both matches on television. Italy vs Brazil is on ESPN, while Japan vs Mexico is on ESPN2.

Before, during or after today’s matches, join the conversation in the comments section below.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. San Fransiscan

    June 23, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Italy’s second goal should’venever stood. Once the referee blows his whistle the game is stopped.

  2. gillyrosh

    June 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Ask and ye shall receive. Much more exciting 2nd half for both games but especially Italy/Brazil. So, Brazil tops Group A. Curious to see who they play in the semis.

    • The Gaffer

      June 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      It’d be great to see Spain against Italy, and Brazil versus Nigeria in the semi-finals.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  3. The Gaffer

    June 22, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Excellent call by Stewart Robson, which is why I like him so much as a co-commentator. He saw that the referee signalled for a penalty kick, and calmly explained to the viewer what happened with Italy’s second goal.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  4. ScruffyRube

    June 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    A life long anti-Italy man, I was all set to mock the azzurri defensive mindset…and then that happened.

  5. gillyrosh

    June 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    As soon as I said the Japan/Mexico game was more interesting than Italy v. Brazil, Dante scored for Brazil! Serves me right-lol.

    should be an interesting second half in both games.

    • The Gaffer

      June 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      Let’s hope the second half is better than the first one!

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

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