JOHANNESBURG (RPRN) 6/29/2009–Brazil has won football’s Confederations Cup after overcoming a two-point deficit to beat the United States by a score of 3-2. Here’s our report from Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.
Brazil dominated the match overall, but trailed the United States until the final minutes of the game because of two early U.S. goals – the first by Clint Dempsey in the 10th minute and the second by Landon Donovan in the 37th.
But the Brazilians came out strongly in the second half and equalized with two goals by player-of-the-tournament Luis Fabiano in the 46th and 74th minutes of the game.
With only six minutes left in regulation time, Lucio headed a corner kick into the goal and Brazil took the lead.
Brazilian coach Dunga praised his team as dedicated and committed. But he also paid tribute to his opponents.
He says that although Brazil has lost only once to the United States, all of their games against them have been difficult and combative. He said the U.S. team has strong tactics, discipline and is very physical. So they are not beaten easily.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley said he was disappointed over losing a two-goal lead, but said he also felt great pride in his team.
“When we get past the disappointment, we know that we are making progress,” said Bob Bradley. “You learn from these kinds of experiences, from these kinds of games. But it doesn’t make it any easier on the night.”
Earlier in the day, Spain took third place in the Confederations Cup, overcoming South Africa by a score of 3-2. But the victory came only after midfielder Xabi Alonso scored the winning goal in the 107th minute of extra time.
The game was a scoreless draw until the 73rd minute when South Africa’s Katlego Mphela struck. But Spain surged into the lead 15 minutes later on two goals scored within a minute of each other by Spanish forward Daniel Guiza.
With seconds left in regulation time, South Africa equalized on a free kick by Mphela that sent the game into 30 nail-biting minutes of overtime.
Photo Credit: FIFA