The two top teams in the FIFA World Ranking, France and Brazil, will clash in Thursday's semi-final of this year's FIFA Confederations Cup -- while one of the co-hosts, Japan, face the outsiders from Australia.
Japan and Brazil played a lively but goalless draw in Ibaraki in the last evening of group matches on Monday, with the South Americans coming closer to breaking the deadlock. One point each put the two teams clear at the top of the group, although the only other contenders for a semi-final spot, Canada, lost that chance with a 0-2 defeat by Cameroon. It was the Africans' first win of the competition.
The previous evening, France had refound their World Champion form with a convincing 4-0 win over the hapless Mexicans, who lost all their three matches in the tournament. Australia went down 1-2 to a rampant Korean side but their two earlier wins were enough to get them into the last four.
The France-Brazil confrontation takes place in Suwon, Korea, while the Japan-Australia semi-final will be the first match of the competition in Yokohama -- where not only the Confederations Cup Final takes place next Sunday but which is also the setting for next year's World Cup Final.