Welcome to the UF liveblog of the second Confederations Cup semifinal. I have two predictions. One: We will not surpass yesterday's comment total. Two: I will write shorter updates than LB does. Beyond that, this tournament has taught me not to make any grandiose predictions on the game itself, because I will be wrong.
I'm sure many of you are like me, still floating on a high after yesterday's US win over Spain. We have 72 more hours to enjoy it until the final kicks off. The presumption is that the Americans will face Brazil in the final, of course, but the game must be played first. And this is why we are here.
Sit back, enjoy, and complain about the vuvuzelas. It's the natural order of things.
Brazil: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Luisao, Andre Santos; Felipe Melo, Gilberto Silva, Ramires, Kaka; Luis Fabiano, Robinho.
South Africa: Khune; Gaxa, Masilela, Mokoena, Booth; Mhlongo, Dikgacoi, Pienaar, Modise, Tshabalala; Parker.
Alright, one prediction. Brazil in a cakewalk. There is four goals worth of difference between these teams. Let's see it.
-7.00 Ref is Busacca from Switzerland, if you care.
-6.00 Booth is tall, isn't he? Robinho smiling like he's riding the bus or getting a discount at a store.
-4.00 Is it bad that I was laughing yesterday when Iker Casillas, representing Spain, read the anti-racism thingy?
-2.00 I haven't heard a temperature update, but I'm presuming cold since Julio Cesar had two neck warmers on. Brazil's anthem short and sweet. South Africa's presumably newer.
The crowd stops blowing those damned horns long enough to give a rousing rendition of their anthem. (Unless the voices are piped in)
0.00 Kickoff. Seems to be a couple of minutes behind, unless ESPN is delaying the feed.
2.00 The first big BOOOOTH of the night. Pitch is the same as US-Egypt, and is in horrible shape.
4.00 Kaka fouls the crap out of Pienaar. Feels bad about it.
6.00 Brazil maintaining most of the early possession, but can't break through in the last twenty so far.
7.00 Dunga also cold. Looks stylish in his "High School Senior All Dressed Up" look .
9.00 Andre Santos gives the ball away and gifts SA a counter, but it comes to nothing. Andre Santos eventually the one to win the ball back. See that Deuce?
10.00 Julio Cesar doing jumping jacks to stay warm. Might be most of his action tonight.
12.00 First real shot of the game saved by Khume going to his left. Ramires with the shit from just inside the box. Maicon with the running on the right to set it up.
13.00 Quickly to the other end, Cesar has to make a dive after Andre Santos loses his man. The shot whistled wide.
15.00 A couple of times tonight, SA have had difficulty clearing the ball from their own box, instead seeing it pinball off of other players. Will such a mistake catch them out?
17.00 Brazil have a promising three on two shut down because of poor passing. Not much of an edge so far from the South American giants.
19.00 Robinho falls down after beating his man. Make no mistake, SA are packed in and it will take a special effort to beat them tonight.
21.00 Mokoena comes so very close. Lucio let him go on a free kick and Mokoena headed over from maybe three yards. Tough that. They need to make sure of the few chances they get.
23.00 SA have started to attack more, but that leaves them more open for a counter. One almost worked for Brazil there. Undeterred, SA press forward again, but it comes to nothing.
24.00 Robinho sure does love his step overs, doesn't he?
26.00 Pienaar kills a SA attack with a Landycakes type pass to no one.
28.00 SA free kick upcoming from about the same area that Mokoena headed over from earlier. Three players on top of it. Tshabalala takes it and forces a save from Cesar. Corner kick. Gets headed out by SA.
31.00 SA with the better of play. Yellow Card on Felipe Melo for flipping Gaxa. SA advantage played until Modise shoots wide. On the other end, Ramires' heavy touch in the box means he loses out on a nice look at goal.
32.00 Robinho called for offside. Correct call by a yard. Khune still saved the sit.
34.00 Andre Santos with a shot from 20. Saved well by Khune. Fabiano looked to have handled in the build up. Question: Where the F is Kaka? He's invisible.
35.00 Game getting chippy with some hard fouls. Ramires the latest to dish one out.
37.00 Brazil are getting their counters, but then holding the ball up and allowing SA to gain numbers and position. Strange.
Kaka sighting. Shot from 22 after moving in from the right misses the top corner by a yard or so.
39.00 Robinho wins a corner under the challenge of Mokoena and Booth. Poorly taken by Maicon.
40.00 Tshabalala is the most fun name to say in the tournament. Derek Rae certainly thinks so.
41.00 What is Method Man doing in the crowd?
42.00 Another Brazil counter. Kaka takes it nearly the whole way and tries to squeak it in near post on Khune. Khune gets down just in time to palm the ball on the ground.
43.00 Pienaar with a shot from 25 just gets saved by Cesar. No corner though.
45.00 Yellow card for Masilela. Took out the ankle of Andre Santos dead center on front of the goal, 25 yards out. Free kick upcoming. Who fancies it?
Brazil try tricky, but Pienaar runs it down.
Tweet tweet TWEEEET
As odd as it sounds to say, this game is rather even. Brazil seemed to get pissy at about the twenty minute mark and allowed SA into the game. South Africa obliged and got themselves some good chances. Both teams have gone close and could have scored.
The halftime talk for Brazil should be about how to get their heads back into the game and not to slow down on counter attacks. South Africa must look for more of the same effort, especially defensively.
See you in 15.
45.01 Second half begins. To be fair to Kaka from earlier, he was invisible because he wasn't being looked for. Hopefully, Brazil can rectify that in this half. I do not want extra time.
46.00 Early corner for Brazil goes to nowt.
47.00 Oh yeah, Gilberto Silva is out there too. Midfield for Brazil not used too much in the first half. Robinho shoots well over from 25+.
49.00 Kaka has the best straight arm in the business. Corner kick Brazil.
52.00 Kaka heads over off of a ball from Maicon. Wasn't convining attaking the ball.
54.00 SA working the left side and finally find Parker in with a look. Looked like his shot was deflected, but in the end was just that bad.
56.00 Maicon and Ramires work a two man game on the right. Cross in gets to Fabiano but his challenged header goes nowhere near the goal.
58.00 Modise's shot from outside the box takes a deflection off Luisao. Cesar initially went the other way and had to scramble to push the ball around the post. It was going in otherwise.
59.00 SA have taken over the game once again.
60.00 SA outshooting Brazil 11-9 at this point. Also, we hear singing instead of vuvuzelas. Nice.
61.00 Andre Santos gets a Yellow Card after taking Modise out at midfield.
62.00 Luis Fabiano gets a shot off. Was never going to beat Khune.
63.00 Robinho tries a half bike off of a giveaway. Goes wide of the post. Question-Is Jo'burg at altitude? Is that affecting Brazil? (Answers-yes;maybe)
67.00 More SA attacking. Brazil are looking to have everything covered, though.
69.00 The problem seems to be that neither team is looking to make that break-the-defense-open pass. Both teams are willing to shoot from distance at this point. It's not working.
71.00 Mhlongo gets called for a touch foul on Kaka. Sometihng indirect, so I don't know. Free kick goes for *gasp* nothing. Where are the subs?
74.00 Luisao seemed to play the man more than the ball on a cross from Tshabalala to Parker. No call though.
75.00 Brazil starting to wonder if they can play Italy again, because this sucks.
77.00 Extra time starting to look like a real possibility. Why don't Brazil sub?
78.00 Brazil have a couple of half chances, but SA defense are in the way of everything.
80.00 SA starting to look tired as well. Great.
81.00 More SA shots from 30+.
81.00 If this thing goes all the way to PKs, I want a raise. Dani Ales about to come on.
82.00 Corner kick Brazil. SUB: Alves on for Andre Santos. RB for LB. Corner kick clears everyone.
84.00 Lucio fouls Pienaar 35 yards out. Let's watch this shot miss.
Nope. Hits the onrushing wall.
86.00 Agreed gramesy.
86.00 Free kick in close for Brazil. On the left side, right outside the box. Come on, anything. It will be Alves.
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL And I just cheered that there will be no extra time. Alves hits it hard to the far post and Khune was nowhere close. Slid just inside the post.
88.00 Alves Yellow Card for over celebration.
90.00 SA prepare their first sub. It's a double sub.
Fabiano blows a one on one.
Only one minute added. It's half over already.
Triple Sub: two for SA, one for Brazil. None of them will get a kick.
I was wrong, Kleberson gets a touch. Two minutes in to the one minute added on.
More subs. Last shot for SA.
After a false whistle, the final whistle finally goes. Tough luck for South Africa who outplayed Brazil for long stretches of the match. There is something to be said, though, for not settling on a 30 yard shot. Brazil's winning goal come on a free kick after Brazil attacked the defense.
That's all there is to it. We'll see you on Sunday for the third place and final matches.