USA stuns Spain to make Confeds Cup final

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bloemfontein - It was drama, disillusionment and elation at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein last night as the USA outplayed Spain 2-nil, confirming their place in the Confederations Cup final.

It is true that 'football is a game of surprises', as nobody predicted the USA victory against the stunning favourites Spain, but President Barack Obama's boys proved to the world that anything can happen in the game of soccer.

The USA team, who unbelievably qualified to the semifinals after beating Egypt 3-nil, played tactically well, outshining the world's number one with goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey.

Spain on the other hand dominated the match and created numerous scoring opportunities but the likes of David Villa and Fernando Torres failed to convert them to goals, thus losing to the unpredictable USA.

Now the CONCACAF Champions will meet either Brazil or South Africa, who will lock horns tonight at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, in a much awaited final to be played on Sunday in the same venue.

The Americans showed in the opening minutes that they were hungry for victory with players likes Charlie Davies and Dempsey throwing shots to test the availability of Spain's goalie Iker Casillas.

The thrilling match started with both teams clearly showing their intentions as both giants conceded corner kicks in the first three minutes.

In the first half, the match went physical with strikers taking every opportunity to find the back of the net.

USA nearly found the lead within the first 15 minutes after two Charlie Davies' shots went wide from Cassillas's post, putting Spanish defenders under pressure.

The energised USA Coach Bob Bradley's men continued to push Spain's defence as the likes of Dempsey and Landon Donavan frustrated them in the search for an opening goal.

It was apparent that the USA players did their homework and wanted to find a goal first as they gave Torres and Villa no room to turn leaving them struggling to find their plunge.

The Spanish goal poacher and Liverpool star, Torres, tried to find a goal in the 17th minute of the first half but the in-form USA goalie, Tim Howard, made a superb save denying the most respected striker in the world.

It was in the 27th minute that Altidore broke the deadlock, netting a superb opener, leaving Real Madrid's Casillas with no chance but to fetch the ball behind the net.

Spain's Xavi, Villa and company tried to find the equaliser but the USA defence led by no-nonsense Oguchi Onyewu and Captain Bocanegra blocked every chance created by the Spanish team.

The match went to halftime with USA leading 1-0 and in the second half the European Champions had numerous attempts but man of the match Onyewu and goalie Howard were taking no prisoners at the back frustrating Torres and associates.

Dempsey scored a superb second goal adding more misery to Spain's Coach Vicente Del Bosue's quandary, and it was clear that the Americans were heading towards the final.

USA, who lost to Brazil 3-nil and Italy 3-1 in the tournament's group matches, did not only boot Spain out of the Festival of Champions tournament but also broke its 35 games unbeaten record and became the first team to defeat the European Champions since 2006.