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Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Jun 26 (EFE).- Host nation Brazil triumphed 2-1 over Uruguay here Wednesday in a tough, penalty-filled match to claim a berth in the Confederations Cup final.
The latest Brazilian phenom, Neymar, set up both of his team's goals in the a game that largely lived up to the high expectations generated by one of South America's classic soccer rivalries.
Uruguay outplayed Brazil for several stretches during the match.
The first scoring opportunity went to the visitors, as David Luiz grabbed Diego Lugano's jersey in the area in the 12th minute and Diego Forlan stepped up to take the penalty shot amid raucous booing from the Brazilian fans.
Though Forlan struck the ball well, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar was up to the task, delivering a spectacular save to keep the score knotted at zero.
The Uruguayans effectively shut down Brazil's passing game and it was only a great individual play by Neymar that allowed the home side to take the lead in the 41st minute.
While Uruguay keeper stopped Neymar's initial shot, he gave up a soft rebound for Fred to coax into the net.
Uruguay equalized just three minutes into the second half, when Brazil defender Thiago Silva's blunder in the area put the ball on the foot of striker Edinson Cavani.
The goal lifted the play of the Uruguayans, with Forlan and gunner Luis Suarez forcing Brazil back on their heels.
But Bernard's entry in the 63rd minute re-energized the hosts and Brazil's offensive forays became more and more effectual.
Even so, it took a seemingly laser-guided corner kick from Neymar to Paulinho's head in the 85th minute to assure Brazil of the win and a place in the final against the winner of Thursday's semifinal between Spain and Italy.