2018 fifa worldcup

Brazil says tough win helps team mature for World Cup

Brazil says the hard-fought win over an experienced Uruguayan squad has helped the team mature and gain more confidence for next year’s World Cup, also being staged on home ground.

Brazil struggled to beat Uruguay 2-1 in the semifinal of the Confederations Cup on Wednesday, but coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and his players say there are a lot of positives to take from the match at Mineirao Stadium.

Scolari says “this is what we’re doing at this competition, we are growing.”

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who saved a penalty kick when the match was scoreless, says the victory “is going to play an important role in making the team more mature in the future.”

“The whole team is improving and this is something we can do when we play against teams like Uruguay and Italy,” Scolari said. “When you play against Uruguay it’s a different sort of match. There’s a lot of rivalry between the two teams and we get a little bit nervous.”

Brazil defeated Italy 4-2 in the group stage of the warm-up competition, and the final will be against either the Italians or Spain, which meet in the other semifinal on Thursday in Salvador.

“We are not ready yet. We have to go through this, through all these situations so we can grow up and evolve and reach the most important competition for us, which is the World Cup, in better shape.”

Brazil was not able to impose its style and struggled against the defending South American champions on Wednesday. It almost went a goal down early in the first half when Uruguay was awarded a penalty, but Julio Cesar made the save to keep the hosts in the game.

Brazil went ahead through Fred before Edinson Cavani equalized in the second half, and defensive midfielder Paulinho scored the winner with a header near the end of the match after a corner taken by Neymar.

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