Dunga: Past counts for nothing
Brazil coach Dunga insists their victory over the USA earlier in the competition is now history as the two sides prepare for a rematch at the FIFA Confederations Cup final in Johannesburg. The South Americans were in complete command during their Group B encounter nine days ago, easing to a 3-0 victory on goals from Felipe Melo, Robinho and Maicon. With the two-week tournament set for its climax at the Ellis Park Stadium, it is the North Americans that now seem to have all the momentum heading into the final.
After sneaking into the knockout stage with a 3-0 win over Egypt in the last group game, they then turned in a gladiatorial effort to dump the world's number one side Spain out of the competition with a 2-0 triumph to seal their date with Brazil, who looked out of sorts as they eventually overcame hosts South Africa 1-0 in their semi-final. And the turn of fortune by Bob Bradley's men has been closely watched by his opposite number as they now ready themselves for a second meeting.
"The game against the US in the group stages was different," said Dunga. "Now they are more consistent and tomorrow will be different.
"They have more confidence because of their results. They are tactically very strong and dangerous on the counter-attack and raise a lot of difficulties because they can sustain it for 90 minutes," he said.
"They will be tough. In order to beat Spain, you have to have ability and you have to have merit and the US showed they had those things and more."
The Brazilians have by far been the best and most consistent team in the competition, scoring ten goals in their three group games, including an emphatic 3-0 win over world champions Italy. Dunga, who claimed that the "best two teams had qualified for the final", is hoping that the defending champions can maintain their form and wants his players to find an early goal, something he believes will help settle nerves. He said: "It will be a game requiring patience, but we will be looking to score early.
"We'll try to apply our normal rhythm, keep possession as long as possible and make the best use of our territorial play," said Dunga.
"We have a great squad and they are all very committed to playing for Brazil."
For US coach Bradley, the chance of playing in a final of a major FIFA competition is something he is cherishing, but he knows it will not be easy.
"The opportunity to play in a game like this is truly special," he said. "We've achieved great results in the past, but have never won a competition of this importance.
"To win a tournament that included Brazil, Spain, Italy and Egypt would be amazing for us, and would give us a lot of confidence to return to South Africa for the [FIFA] World Cup," said Bradley. "So we are really looking forward to it."
Assessing the strength's of the Seleção, he added: "When you play Brazil, the first thing you notice is the talent and the way they go forward.
"In particular, they have been very good coming from deep positions where they have space, and the speed of Kaka and Robinho comes into play and those are dangerous situations," he said. "And, they have also been very good on set pieces.
"It's in these two areas that we understand how important it is, but that doesn't mean that we don't see the other things."
The US have never qualified for a FIFA Confederations Cup final before, with their best finishes coming in 1992 and 1999 when they finished third, while the Brazilians could claim a third title in South Africa.