Jesus Navas scored the decisive penalty kick after Leonardo Bonucci sent his attempt over the crossbar, and Spain beat Italy 7-6 in a shootout after a 0-0 tie Thursday night to reach the Confederations Cup final against Brazil.
In a draining match on a night of heat and humidity in Fortaleza, Brazil, Italy’s Emanuele Giaccherini hit a post in the 93rd minute and Azzurri goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon deflected Xavi Hernandez’s kick off a post in the 115th.
Spain, winner of the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, will play Brazil on Sunday at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium for the title in the World Cup preparation tournament.
Before kickoff, about 5,000 anti-government protesters, angry about corruption, poor public services and the billions of dollars being spent to host the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio, battled police about a mile from the stadium. One protester died after falling from an overpass.
These were the latest in a series of nationwide protests that have hit Brazil since June 17. Demonstrators, expected to turn out again Sunday, are angered about corruption and poor public services despite a heavy tax burden. Protesters also are denouncing the billions of dollars spent to host the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Landon Donovan is returning to the U.S. national team for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup after an absence of nearly 11 months. Donovan and veteran defender Oguchi Onyewu were among 23 players picked for the American roster. … The U.S. was knocked out of the Under-20 World Cup in the first round, finishing last in Group A with a 4-1 loss to Ghana in Kayseri, Turkey.