Brazil restore order by winning Confederations Cup

June 28, 2009

The U.S. were 2-0 up at halftime and threatening another major shock before Brazil stormed back to win 3-2 and seal the Confederations Cup.

Goals by Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan had Brazil in big trouble but Luis Fabiano took his tournament tally to five in five games when he scored just after the restart and equalised in the 74th minute. Brazil captain Lucio completed the job when he rose superbly to head home an Elano corner six minutes from time.

The U.S. comfortably beat Spain in the semis and they were equally brilliant in the first half at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park. Some may allege Spain and Brazil were not playing as they would in the World Cup, but something has certainly changed in soccer’s world order following this competition. 

It is all set up nicely for the World Cup next year, especially as the South Africans have proved themselves worthy hosts after a fine Confederations Cup.

PHOTO: Brazil’s Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Gilberto Silva celebrate a goal of their teammate Lucio (L-R) against the U.S. during their Confederations Cup final soccer match in Johannesburg June 28, 2009.REUTERS/Dylan Martinez


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What’s most dissapointing (from an American perspective) is that when the game got closer and closer, the performances of each US player got worse and worse. There’s nowhere to hide on the field. They had a chance to do something historic and really blew it out there.

Posted by Marcus O’Mard | Report as abusive

Have to say it was a great first half especially and game in general. The only few things I would have to say
1. Altidore – need to run for every ball…again saw him watching too much and bad habits will haunt you later.
2. Howard…excellent try, great saves, need to work on ball distribution either with the team receiving it or you opting not to kick it way forward. this is a coach’s issue more than Howard’s I would think.
3. keep the ball, calm down and always be ready for the quick strike by any team both in the beginning (done well) and after half (needed word). Once down, need to have someone on the field say, “calm down, hold the ball, look for the chances, don’t rush it…” This was exactly what caused the defeat.
Great game though, just need to add some composure instead of panic and you will be fine.

Posted by dan macke | Report as abusive

This was a good showing by the US in the first 20 minutes. Midway through the first period, Brazil had superior ball control, and better chances, but the US scored on a counterattack for a misleading 2-0 lead. Brazil was superior by far for 70 minutes. While the US has much to be proud of in its performances against Egypt and Spain, I wouldn’t use this match as evidence that the U.S. is entering football’s elite.

Posted by Daniel C. | Report as abusive

The US needs a real coach . Bob Bradley is a failed MLS coach who is totally out of his depth in international soccer. Not to make excuses, but the only reason the US did as well as they did was due to the talent and determination of the players. Until the US gets a coach of International stature, they will always have teams such the current one , which has a bench of players who have no business in international football and like his predecessor Bruce Arena, looks at coaching the US national team as a chance to bring in former players who are not very good. Because the US public is not as knowledgable as other fans, some actually think Bradley whose level of expertise is maybe on the level of a 3rd division coach in Europe, is a great coach.

Posted by Joe Hamilton | Report as abusive

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Don’t dream!

Posted by | Report as abusive

What an awsome game that was! The Us team is just starting, they have loads of potential.

Posted by Boss Hoss | Report as abusive

Well, from a brazilian perspective I must confess we all got very anxious when the US scored the 2 goals.

After what they did to Spain, who wouldn’t?

American players fought with their hearts and souls and that made our victory unvaluable.

It’s probably the best US soccer team in history.

My most sincere congratulations to both Brazil and US for the soccer show delivered to the audiences all over the globe.

Posted by Marcus Vinicius Pinto Schtruk | Report as abusive

Soccer is not a favourite sport in US, and their TVs seldom broadcast Euro soccer. So US team just play by their instinct. They don’t care who you are, whether Brazilians or Italians, you just have to beat them by
your skill not reputation. Confed Cup just prove this.

Posted by Miner | Report as abusive

The US played very well in the first half, but fell apart after Brazil’s first goal. But you know what? Finishing second to Brazil and sending Spain to 3rd place is something worthy of pride, isn’t it?

Posted by JCinCT | Report as abusive


Posted by Dan A | Report as abusive

Spread the word: For the last 30 years Soccer (football) has been the largest participation sport in the US, topping basketball, baseball and US football combined. What this means is the new generation of adults leading our corporate complex have all been exposed heavily to Soccer. WE LOVE IT. And in the US it is very clear that the MLS is taking off with a growing loyal fan base who knows exactly who Kaka, Ronaldo, Rhobiño, Messi, Toni, etc, etc. are… WE KNOW SOCCER! Soon the Old-School writers and broadcasters in their 50’s 60’s (who hate soccer) are retiring, and our NEW generation is coming up. We love our US TEAM and our MLS players too. We feel our football is on par with the worlds. Our coaching ranks suck, but our players are worthy and formidable.

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

For some reason many US fans love to hate Bradley as coach. I guess they just don’t like overachievers.

Posted by Will | Report as abusive

that was not a great day for the us soccer team. so close to winning but they came back and beat us

Posted by keenan Fisher | Report as abusive