THE DAY REPLAYED: So Brazil are through to the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup but which Brazil will we see – and more importantly will Germany see - in Nuremberg on Saturday?

The one with attacking flair in abundance, with Ronaldinho and Robinho shuffling their feet mesmerically as though tonight's stage was a Rio dance floor, or the one that succumbed to Mexico and which allowed Japan two equalising goals in Cologne?

As for Mexico – they couldn't make it three wins out of three and will be disappointed to be held 0-0 by a Greece team earning their first point, but still unable to score. Yet the Aztec heroes know the real tests are still to come. As Group B winners they will face Argentina in Hanover on Sunday.

JPN 2 : 2 BRA | GRE 0 : 0 MEX | Check second stage schedule

For a few tantalising seconds the footballing world seemed to stop still in anticipation of a second Brazilian defeat and their leaving of the competition. Having just fought back to 2-2, Japan had a great chance in injury time to bag a winner at the far post. The cross had Masashi Oguro stretching but he managed to get his header on target. Marcos, standing in for Dida, palmed it away and Brazil breathed again. They were through while the Asian team join Greece in heading for the departure lounge.

But how well Japan have acquitted themselves over the past week, something that can not be said about Greece who failed to score a single goal but at least did not suffer the embarrassment of returning home empty-handed. They also avoided the stigma of posting the worst record of any FIFA Confederations Cup team (Canada in 2001 also gained a single point and were goalless) though as European Champions it will cause them pain that they have just established the worst European record in the competition.

When Brazil are good they are very, very good. That is not saying anything new. The whole world knows it and confirmation has come over the course of the last eight days in the progression of the exciting ball-manipulator Robinho. When he and Ronaldinho are in harness the yellow shirts 'puRR' oh so sweetly.

Robinho scored the first left-footed through the legs of Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi from a Ronaldinho set-up. Kaka hit the post and just past the half-hour Ronaldinho was repaid the favour by Robinho, a cut-back from the left and there was the Barcelona star with the vital touch.

That made the score 2-1 because Shunsuke Nakamura had just equalised with a stunning shot over Marcos. Even before that he had seen a header clip the crossbar. Later he had another good chance but Cicinho got it away. Brazil were also still creating chances; it was proving another thrilling scrap in a tournament of constant captivating action. But the fourth goal went Japan's way through the substitute Oguro – he had also scored the winner against Greece having just left the bench – and so nearly a fifth as well. How Zico, the legendary Brazilian who is working hard to weld discipline and refined teamwork to the undoubted spirit and enthusiasm in his Japanese team, would have celebrated had Oguro scored with that late header.

For Mexico the hard part had been done against Brazil. They just had to make sure they didn't lose in Frankfurt and thus absorb a heavy blow to their confidence. Greece began with three strikers against them – and increased that to four for the final quarter of the game. At the same time Ricardo Lavolpe took off Jose Fonseca, his only recognised striker having opted to leave Jared Borgetti - the man who's header dispatched Brazil - on the bench. Mexico had a goal disallowed but a better indicator of the match was that for the second game running Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez was named Anheuser Busch Man of the Match.