Football: Systematic fouling becoming a part of Brazil's game

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - While Brazil enjoy a perfect record of two wins, five goals scored and none conceded from their two games at the Confederations Cup, another statistic has shown a less appealing side to their game.

Brazil committed 25 fouls during Wednesday's 2-0 win over Mexico, the highest by any team in a single match at the tournament so far and more even than the 22 Uruguay conceded in the face of Spain's relentless passing game.

Brazil are usually associated with the finer arts of the game, yet systematic fouling in midfield has often been just as much a part of their football culture, at both club and national team level, as the exuberant skills of their forwards.

Although there was no obvious violence in Wednesday's match at the Castelao, Mexico repeatedly found their moves interrupted by so-called "tactical fouls" such as a sly trip or tug of the shirt.

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