Sunday, June 21, 2009

Confed Cup: USA completes magical comeback to move into semi-finals!

The USA pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in recent history when they booked their place in the Semi-Finals after beating African Champions Egypt by three goals to nil on Sunday evening in Rustenburg.
It was clear that Group B was wide open but nobody expected the USA to go through to the semi-finals after losing their first their first two matches 3-1 and 3-0. They started the day bottom of Group B, with a goal difference of -5 compared to second placed Italy who had a goal difference of +1. Which effectively meant that USA had to overcome a 6 goal deficit to advance to the semi finals, impossible?

Brazil started the match against Italy in a determined mood and were 3-0 up at the break thanks to two great finishes from Sevilla striker Luis Fabiani and an own goal from Liverpool's Andrea Dossena on the stroke of half-time. This basically meant that Egypt would be advancing if they could avoid defeat by more than 1 goal against USA.
Roger de Sa jokingly said before kick-off that the Americans had already packed their bags but he couldn't have been more wrong! Charlie Davies handed the Eagles a 1 goal lead at the break when he found the back of the net in the 22nd minute.
Michael Bradley doubled their lead on the hour mark after playing a neat one-two with Landon Donovan to send the group wide open! As it stood Italy was now going through instead of Egypt!

Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey then completed one of the greatest comebacks in a Fifa Tournament when he made it 3-0 to the USA, heading home Jonathan Spector's excellent cross. This meant that if things stayed the same the USA would go through by virtue of having scored 1 goal more than Italy who they were level with on goal difference of -2.

After 90 minutes both games ended 3 - 0, which secured the USA the most unlikely of escapes as they advance to the semi-finals alongside Brazil. Brilliant night of action in what has proved to be a great Confederations Cup thus far. Well done the USA for showing great fighting spirit.

Semi Finals now look like this:
Brazil v South Africa
Spain v USA

After tonights results I wouldn't bet aagainst a South Africa vs USA final!

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