Brazil rallies from 0-2 deficit to beat U.S., 3-2, and with the Confederations Cup

Via the Los Angeles Times

Producing the best soccer it has played in recent memory, the United States men’s national team came within a whisker Sunday of pulling off its second staggering international soccer upset in just five days.

After shutting out Spain, the world’s No. 1-ranked team, 2-0, in midweek, the U.S. was leading Brazil by the same score at halftime in the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Then, the five-time world champions and defending Confederations Cup champions regrouped and came back with a vengeance.

Three goals in the second half, the first scored after a mere 45 seconds, earned Brazil a 3-2 victory as it won the eight-nation tournament for a record third time. The Brazilians also won the event in 1997 and 2005.


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USA leads Spain 2-0 in the second half

This would be a huge upset if the U.S. men can pull out a win in this semifinal match in the Confederations Cup. Spain has won a record 35-straight matches.

The match is in the middle of the second half and is being broadcast on ESPN. You can also see the MatchCast here.

Update: USA won, 2-0, and will move on to the final. And a correction on the Spain streak — they hadn’t lost in 35-straight matches. There were a few ties during that run.

U.S. advances to Confederations Cup semifinals


At the Confederations Cup in Rustenburg, South Africa, the U.S. National Team is continuing to surprise everyone as earlier today they beat Egypt to advance to the semifinals.

The Americans had looked to be heading out of the tournament after losses to Italy and Brazil, but Charlie Davies, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey scored in a vastly improved performance to edge the African champions for a place in the next round on goal difference.

“All of the critics in America who said we were no good after losing to Italy and Brazil, let’s see what they say now,” Bradley said. “We had to play 90 of 180 minutes against two of the top five teams in the world with 10 men.”

The United States kept 11 men on the field all game after a red card in each of its previous two games and it showed. Where the Americans had labored previously, they shone throughout and could have scored even more.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, expected the United States to go far at all in this tournament. The Confederations Cup started, which is held every four years, pits the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation championships (CAF, CONMEBOL, UEFA, AFC, OFC, CONCACAF), along with the FIFA World Cup winner and the host country. The U.S. National Team is playing great soccer right now and hopefully they will continue with this energy up till next year’s World Cup.

They will face Spain in the semifinals on Wednesday.

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