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Brazil overcomes early US lead and triumphs in Confederations Cup

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-30

Title holders Brazil fought back from two goals down to win the Confederations Cup final against the United States in Johannesburg (3-2). It was their third crown in this competition following triumphs in 1997 and 2005.

REUTERS - Holders Brazil fought back from 2-0 down with three second-half goals to beat the United States 3-2 and win the Confederations Cup for the third time in an entertaining final on Sunday.

The U.S., who shocked Spain in the semis, looked set to complete an even greater upset when goals by Clint Dempsey and skipper Landon Donovan put them 2-0 ahead at halftime.

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard produced several good saves before striker Luis Fabiano took his tournament tally to five just after the restart and he equalised with a header.

Brazil captain Lucio completed his side's stunning recovery when he rose superbly to power home an Elano corner six minutes from time.

The match was a fitting climax to an outstanding tournament which provided shocks, excellent football and noisy crowds, auguring well for next year's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The U.S. stunned Brazil by taking the lead with a fortuitous goal by Dempsey.

He connected with Jonathan Spector's cross and although he did not get a perfect touch the ball sped past Julio Cesar.

Astonishingly, the Americans doubled their lead after 27 minutes.

Donovan started the move deep in his own half when he found Ricardo Clark who broke down the left before sending a perfect cross back to Donovan.

His first touch wrong-footed Ramires, creating an opening for the striker who switched the ball to his left foot and cracked it past Julio Cesar for his 40th international goal in his 114th match.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

Brazil had beaten the U.S. 14 times in 15 previous meetings but keeper Howard kept the outsiders firmly in control with a number of fine saves.

Brazil had the majority of the possession but rarely threatened until a minute after the restart when Luis Fabiano turned and shot through the legs of a defender in one movement.

Brazil twice went close to an equaliser, Howard pulling off an excellent diving save from a Lucio header and getting lucky when Kaka's downward header looked to have crossed the line before the keeper held on to it.

But he was not quite as fortunate the next time Brazil hit the bar.

Kaka accelerated past Spector on the left before crossing to Robinho on the six-yard line. He first time shot came back off the bar to Luis Fabiano who headed in the rebound.

Brazil were now in command and the decisive breakthrough came when Lucio rose to power the ball home with a his head.
 

 

Date created : 2009-06-28

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