International Soccer
 
             === Brazil cruises past Spain in Confed Cup final ===
 
 Rio  de Janeiro, Brazil (Sports Network) - Brazil claimed its third successive
 Confederations  Cup  title on Sunday, cruising  past Spain in a resounding 3-0
 victory at the historic Maracana.
 
 It  took  the Brazilians less than  two minutes to  get on the scoresheet as a
 cross  to  the back post  was not properly dealt  with by the Spanish defense,
 allowing  Fred to pounce on the loose ball and sweep a shot past the sprawled-
 out Iker Casillas.
 
 Spain  nearly  equalized later in  the opening period  when Pedro fired a shot
 underneath Julio Cesar, but David Luiz was tracking back to clear the shot off
 the goal line with a sliding challenge.
 
 Brazil  doubled its  advantage just  before halftime  when Neymar  started and
 finished  a move in the 44th minute. The 21-year-old superstar centered a pass
 to  the  top of the box  and darted into the  penalty area. He checked his run
 when  he  did not immediately  receive a return  pass and hurried back onside,
 finally collecting a through ball from Oscar before roofing a left-footed shot
 into the upper corner.
 
 Fred  effectively  sealed the win  less than two  minutes into the second half
 when  he latched  on to  Neymar's "dummy"  and slotted  a low  shot that  beat
 Casillas at the far post.
 
 Spain  had  a chance  for a consolation  goal in the  55th minute when Marcelo
 tripped  up Jesus Navas  in the box, but Sergio Ramos sent the ensuing attempt
 from the spot wide of the post.
 
 Things  went from bad to worse for Spain when Gerard Pique was sent off in the
 68th  minute  for  denying  Neymar  a goal-scoring  opportunity  with  a  rash
 challenge just outside the box.
 
 With a three-goal lead and a one-man advantage, Brazil cruised the rest of the
 way  to  win the  Confederations Cup  for the fourth  time in the tournament's
 history.
 
 Italy  claimed third place in the competition thanks to a defeat of Uruguay on
 penalty kicks Sunday.
 
 Davide  Astori opened the  scoring for the Italians in the 24th minute only to
 see  his strike  canceled out by Edinson Cavani in the 58th minute. Alessandro
 Diamanti curled in a free kick in the 73rd minute to restore Italy's lead, but
 Cavani answered five minutes later with a free kick of his own to equalize for
 Uruguay once more.
 
 The match went to penalties following two scoreless periods of extra time, and
 Gianluigi  Buffon played  a starring role, stopping efforts from Diego Forlan,
 Martin Caceres and Walter Gargano to lead the Italians to a 3-2 edge.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 06/30 20:02:42 ET

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