An incredible Maracana atmosphere spurred Brazil to their third consecutive FIFA Confederations Cup, with a brilliant 3-0 win against FIFA World Cup™ holders Spain. Fred grabbed a brace and Neymar scored yet another brilliant goal.
Sergio Ramos missed a penalty with his side three down and Gerard Pique then saw red with around 20 minutes remaining.
The atmosphere was remarkable before kick-off, with the Brazilian national anthem sung passionately by *A Seleção's *faithful, and the stadium erupted in the second minute. Hulk received the ball on the Brazil right and curled a ball into the Spain six-yard box. Neymar tried to control but the ball dropped just in front of Fred, who had fallen to the floor. He scooped his right foot under the ball and sent a shot past Iker Casillas. The hordes of yellow-shirted fans created an incredible roar and Spain were stunned.
Brazil harried and chased Spain all over the pitch, with the crowd pushing them on. Oscar shot wide of Casillas’ right-hand post and Fred squandered a golden opportunity when he was set free by Neymar.
Jordi Alba then broke down the Spain left and sent Pedro one-on-one with Julio Cesar. The *Barça *winger curled a left-footed effort past the Queens Park Rangers' keeper, but David Luiz sprinted back to remarkably clear off the line with the Spanish bench already celebrating. The crowd celebrated the block as loudly as the Fred opener, but it was to Brazil’s No10 who would raise the volume still further.
Doing well to keep onside, Neymar received an Oscar pass to the left of the Spain area. He steadied himself, before rifling a powerful left-footed drive past Casillas into the roof of the net. The tournament’s poster-boy sprinted to the sea of yellow and the crowd welcomed him with open arms.
Brazil were not finished there. Within three minutes of the restart, Fred received the ball on the left of the Spanish area and curled a shot past Casillas. The No9 celebrated with his teammates as the crowd created yet another incredible roar.
Spain were then given a lifeline when Marcelo took Jesus Navas down in the Brazil penalty area. Sergio Ramos stepped up and hit his spot kick low and hard to Julio Cesar’s right. The ball hit the post on its way out of play and the keeper jumped to his feet to celebrate.
Gerard Pique saw red with just over 20 minutes left after scything down his new Barcelona team-mate Neymar as he sprinted towards goal.
Brazil saw the remainder of the game out to lift the trophy and end Spain's world record run of unbeaten games. The Maracana celebrated the win with gusto, and the host nation will be hoping that Thiago Silva is lifting another iconic trophy in this stadium in just over 12 months' time.