RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil won a heated matchup of past and present soccer powers, boosting its confidence as it prepares to host next year’s World Cup.
Fred scored two goals, Neymar added another and Brazil defeated world champion Spain 3-0 in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday night as protesters clashed with riot police outside Maracana Stadium.
Brazil, a five-time world champion, beat the reigning world and European champion and ended Spain’s 29-game, three-year winning streak in competitive matches.
Fred put Brazil ahead in the second minute, Neymar doubled the lead in the 44th with his fourth goal of the tournament and Fred added his fifth in the 47th.
Brazil, which won its third straight Confederations Cup, has not lost a competitive home match since 1975.
Spain had not lost a competitive game since its 2010 World Cup opener against Switzerland.