2009 Confederations Cup Soccer Finals: Brazil vs USA, Brazil wins
In the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Finals, history did not happen for the US national soccer team, as team Brazil came out strong to win 3-2 in a tournament widely considered to be a preview for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Team USA empowered by a mighty victory over the 2008 European champions team Spain in semifinals has reached today's finals of the Confederations Cup with great confidence. They opened the first period strong with Fulham's FC winger Clint Dempsey scoring the first goal of the final game in the 10th minute of the match. Than, a heavy wave of bombardment from Brazil's offense ensued. However, American goalkeeper Tim Howard was superb, defending his gates to the best of his ability throughout the game. He later went on to win the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper of the tournament. In the 26th minute of the first half, a mistake by Brazilian midfield lead to a goal scored by LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan.
All throughout the first half, Americans played a very smart game, exceptionally strong in defense and efficient in offense. Brazilians, on the other hand, looked perplexed and uncomfortable, despite having had 10 shots on goal while the US had only 4 by the end of the first half. Americans left for the change rooms with a solid 2-0 lead over Brazil, the same score that they have crushed team Spain with.
In the second period, the situation changed drastically in the first minutes of the game, when the goal of Brazil's Luis Fabiano found the gates of Tim Howard, bringing Brazil the much needed first goal in the game. It was also Fabiano's fourth goal of the tournament. Fabiano's goal has reversed the mood on the pitch, with Americans now starting to feel the pressure. Brazil pushed on and in the 60th minute, Kaka drove a powerful header into the post of Howard, who managed to grab the ball and kick it out, although the ball has already crossed the line. The Swedish referee Martin Hansson did not call the goal, provoking a lot of anguish from the Brazilian team. Perhaps, it was this anguish that caused Brazil's Fabiano to score an equalizer in the 75th minute, getting his fifth goal of the tournament that later landed him the Golden Boot award as the top scorer of the tournament. The tie-goal caused the US coach to make hasty substitutions. But, except for the occasional bouts of offensive game from the Americans, the game was slowly but surely slipping away from the US team. Team Brazil took full control in the 85th minute with the decisive third goal scored by Brazil's captain Lucio with the help from Elano's corner kick.
In the end, it was team Brazil's determination and will to win that broke the game. The US challenged well and almost made history today, but it was not their night to win. Team US heads back home proud of beating the almighty Spanish team, who many have felt played too gracefully and not powerfully enough to advance to the finals. Despite all odds, team US has made a strong statement a year ahead of the 2010 World Cup, and it will be interesting to see how strong they come out in a year's time in South Africa. Meanwhile, team Brazil is jubilant in their victory today. However, statistics has it that team Brazil has never won the World Cup after winning the Confederations Cup a year before. Perhaps, team Brazil will overturn this statistical record in 2010.
Meanwhile, there are 347 days to go before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa, and the whole world is waiting in anticipation of the big game.
* 1 Tim HOWARD (GK)
* 3 Carlos BOCANEGRA (C) Yellow Card
* 5 Oguchi ONYEWU
* 8 Clint DEMPSEY Goal
* 9 Charlie DAVIES
* 10 Landon DONOVAN Goal
* 13 Ricardo CLARK Out (-88' )
* 15 Jay DeMERIT
* 17 Jozy ALTIDORE Out (-75' )
* 21 Jonathan SPECTOR
* 22 Benny FEILHABER Out (-75' )
* (GK) JULIO CESAR 1
* MAICON 2
* Goal Yellow Card (C) LUCIO 3
* Yellow Card FELIPE MELO 5
* GILBERTO SILVA 8
* Goal Goal LUIS FABIANO 9
* KAKA 10
* ROBINHO 11
* LUISAO 14
* (-66') Out Yellow Card ANDRE SANTOS 16
* (-67') Out RAMIRES 18
USA (USA) Statistics Brazil (BRA)
9 Shots 31
4 Shots on goal 13
2 Goals Scored 3
17 Fouls Committed 11
11 Fouls Suffered 15
5 Corner kicks 10
9 Free kicks Shots (scored) 21
0 / 0 Penalty Kicks (Goals/Shots) 0 / 0
1 Offsides 6
0 Own goals 0
1 Yellow cards 3
0 Second yellow card and red card 0
0 Red Cards 0
27 Actual playing time 40
41% Possession (%) 59%
The 2009 Confederations Cup Awards:
Luis Fabiano wins the Golden Boot for top scorer, Tim Howard Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper, Clint Dempsey Bronze Ball for third best player, Luis Fabiano Silver Ball for second best player and, absolutely ridiculously, Kaka the Golden Ball for tournament's best player.
Read another account of the game by NowPublic’s member albertacowpoke here.