For months there were predictions that on Sunday Brazil would score a spectacular own goal at the Maracana.
Footage has emerged of a drugs operation in which police fired machine guns from a helicopter into a densely-populated neighbourhood.
A series of vicious rapes on public buses in Rio de Janeiro has cast doubt on Brazil's ability to keep its visitors safe.
Police in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo struggled to prevent protesters from entering city hall during mass protests last night.
Footage from local TV stations showed demonstrators smashing the windows of the building with guard rails.
Earlier in the day, tens of thousands of protesters held a largely peaceful rally outside Sao Paulo Cathedral where a puppet of the city's mayor was burned.
Brazil's government has deployed soldiers to the five cities that are hosting the Confederations Cup in order to quell large protests, the BBC reports.
The troops have reportedly been deployed in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Ceara and the capital Brasilia.
Thousands of demonstrators flooded into a square in Brazil's economic hub, Sao Paulo, for the latest in a historic wave of protests against the state of public transport, schools and other public services.
Around 50,000 protesters gathered outside Sao Paulo's City Hall building, where a small group fought police in an attempt to force their way in. Another protest sprang up in the working class Rio de Janeiro suburb of Sao Goncalo.
Mass protests are continuing throughout Brazil, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators converging in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and other cities.
Authorities had hoped to avoid the sort of bloody confrontations that shocked Sao Paulo last week and the outpourings of dissent were mainly peaceful.
The unrest was set off last week by anger over a hike in public transport fares, but protesters have moved beyond that issue to tap into widespread frustration over a heavy tax burden.
Small bands of protesters broke glass trying to get into the main congressional building in Brasilia, and some demonstrators clashed with police in Rio de Janeiro.
Police commanders had said publicly that they would try to avoid violence, but warned they could resort to force if protesters destroyed property.
Many are angry that billions of dollars in public funds are being spent to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics while few improvements are made elsewhere.
Police have fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds as protests marred a second successive day of the Confederations Cup soccer tournament in Brazil.
Protesters tried to pass a police blockage outside Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium where Mexico were playing Italy in the tournament, a run-through event for next year's World Cup finals.
The activists are protesting against the costs of the World Cup but people are also angry in Rio about a local issue surrounding the cost of public transport.
There were demonstrations around the country last week against public transport costs.
Protests marred the opening day of the tournament on Saturday when around 500 protesters were tear-gassed by police in Brasilia where the hosts were playing Japan.
Italy and Mexico fans arrived at Rio's Maracana stadium in bright costumes and high spirits ahead of their Confederations Cup match in Brazil.
Police officers in riot gear fired tear gas at protesters outside Brazil's Mane Garrincha stadium tonight.
Hundreds of people gathered to protest against the cost of putting on major sporting events, including the World Cup, which Brazil is hosting in 2014.
At least two people were injured by rubber bullets, including a 16-year-old student, AP reported.
Brazil opened the Confederations Cup with a 3-0 win over Japan on although the occasion was marred when police fired teargas at protesters outside the Mane Garrincha National Stadium.
A stunning third minute goal from Neymar set Brazil on their way before Paulinho ended Japan's challenge by adding a second three minutes into the second half of the Group A match.
Substitute Jo completed the scoring in stoppage time as the hosts, playing their first competitive match since the Copa America nearly two years ago, dealt competently with the Asian champions who created some nice moves in midfield but lacked punch.
Some fans in the 67,000 crowd had to be treated for the affects of tear gas fired by riot police at the protester who are angry at the cost of building stadiums for the tournament and next year's World Cup.
FIFA are using goal-line technology in international matches for the first time in tonight's opening match between Brazil and Japan at the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
FIFA first tested technology at a tournament in December at the Club World Cup.
The system, GoalControl-4D, uses 14 high-speed cameras located around the pitch which are directed at both goals and if successful will be used in the World Cup finals next year.
The company was selected ahead of the three other FIFA-licensed technology providers, including British-based firm Hawkeye.
Hundreds of protesters complaining against the high cost of staging the World Cup rallied in front of the Mane Garrincha in Brazil just hours before the opening match of the Confederations Cup.
Riot police were called up to keep demonstrators from getting too close to the stadium as thousands of fans arrived for the inaugural match in the nation's capital.
There was no confrontation, but a few tear gas bombs were thrown by the police to try to control the protesters as they moved near the venue.
Nearly 500 protesters participated in the demonstration. Three were seen being detained.