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USA and Brazil propelled into semi-finals

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-22

Brazil took Italy apart in a 3-0 victory to qualify for the semi-finals where they will meet home team South Africa. The United States' stunning victory over Egypt (3-0) gives the Americans a place in next round against hot favourite Spain.

AFP - Brazil sliced Italy apart with three goals in a devastating eight-minute spell to send the world champions crashing out of the Confederations Cup on Sunday.

Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano bagged a brace and Liverpool defender Andrea Dossena scored an own goal as Dunga's flamboyant troops stunned their arch rivals with the triple blow just before the break.

It was the first time Italy has conceded three goals before half-time since 1957.

With the United States recording a shock 3-0 win over Egypt in Rustenberg, Italy missed out on goal difference with Bob Bradley's men instead unexpectedly going through to the semi-finals with Brazil.

By topping Group B, Brazil avoid Spain and play South Africa on Thursday for a place in the final after the hosts finished runner-up in Group A.

The United States take on the European champions on Wednesday.

It was a lacklustre display by an ageing Italian team that has failed to shine with coach Marcello Lippi sure to face stinging criticism back home where he has been slammed for failing to make better use of his younger players.

An apathetic Italy slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat against Egypt in their last group game and Lippi made four changes to try and reverse the slide.

Out went Fabio Grosso, Gennaro Gattuso, Giuseppe Rossi and Fabio Quagliarella and in came Andrea Dossena, Riccardo Montolivo, Luca Toni and Mauro Camoranesi.

But it made very little difference against a Brazilian team that came out in attacking mode and took full advantage of Italy's defensive frailties.

They were dangerous from the outset with Italy fortunate not to go behind after six minutes when Ramires hit the angle between the post and the crossbar after being put through by Fabiano.

In was a fast and furious opening period with Italy forced to get men behind the ball as the South Americans surged forward, Maicon and Kaka both having shots blocked and Robinho forcing a save from Gianluigi Buffon.

Italy were being stifled but eventually settled down with a first sniff of goal when Juventus midfielder Camoranesi hit a half-volley narrowly over the bar just before the half hour mark.

But the Brazilian pressure was relentless and Daniele de Rossi almost put the ball in his own goal when he stuck out a foot to meet a Lucio shot and it deflected onto the post.

Buffon was a busy man, forced into a fine save from Lucio seconds later to keep his side alive.

The breakthrough came eight minutes before half-time when Fabiano pounced on a scuffed shot from Maicon to drive the ball beyond Buffon's reach with the referee waving away appeals for offside.

They doubled their lead six minutes later when Robinho and Kaka combined to feed Fabiano who made no mistake from close range.

With Italy on the ropes, Brazil delivered a knockout punch two minutes later after Robinho broke down the left and delivered a cross with Dossena turning the ball into his own net under pressure.

Italy finally woke up in the second half with substitutes Simone Pepe, Giuseppe Rossi and Alberto Gilardino all getting shots on target as they desperately tried to restore some pride.

Their best chance came when Pepe had a shot blocked with goalkeeper Julio Cesar stranded, but despite last ditch efforts they failed to redeem themselves.
 

Date created : 2009-06-21

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