Samba Triumph in a Successful Rehearsal of FIFA World Cup 2010
FIFA Confederation Cup 2009 in South Africa ended last weekend. The Brazilian emerges as the champion after beating USA in the final. In the final held in Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium, one of the venue for next year FIFA World Cup, Brazil were 2 goals down going into the break. Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan scored a goal each to give the USA team a comfortable 2-0 lead after just half an hour into the game. The Samba boy were not able to penetrate the USA defense in the first half.
However, everything change in the second half. Luis Fabiano scored almost straight from the restart. The strike gave Brazil hope for a comeback. Indeed the game change and the Brazilian keep up the pressure on the USA defense. In the 74th minutes, Luis Fabiano tie the score at 2-2 before Lucio struck 10 minutes later to gave Brazil a superb and magnificent comeback to win the Confederation Cup title. Its a story of so close yet so far for the USA team, they are just 45 minutes away from producing another great upset (just as they did in the semifinal against Spain).
The USA was actually in the brink of elimination after losing the first two group games when nobody gave them any chance to move to the next round. They qualify for the semifinal by the slightest of margin (virtually by goals scored). The "never say die" attitude of the USA team should be applause and set as an example by others. Here are the recap of the Confederation cup tournament concluded in South Africa.
Egypt surprise everyone after stunning display against the Brazilian and Italian
Egypt surprise everyone with superb team display. The almost held Brazil to a 2-2 draw, but Kaka scored the decisive penalty to gave Brazil the victory. In the second game, Egypt stunted Italy, the World Champion, after beating them 1-0. After the victory, Egypt was in a very good position to qualify for the semifinal but they lose to USA in the third games and end up eliminated from the tournament.
USA, The team that was almost eliminated but cameback producing one of the most famous upset in the history of football
USA ended as the surprises of the tournament. They were not given any hope winning the title and their participation just merely to make up the numbers. By no means that the USA team are a weak team but before the tournament begun I have mentioned that they are one of the dark horses (apart from Egypt) of the tournament. They play with cohesiveness and tactically very disciplined. However, winning title required extra quality and class. This is what separate teams like Brazil, Spain and Italy with the others. They have the additional edged and quality over the others. In this tournament, USA had shown that they are a very good team and not an easy team to beat. They managed to beat Egypt 3-0 to qualify for the semifinal. Then in the semifinal, the produce one of the greatest upset in football history by beating Spain 2-0. Spain was undefeated in 35 matches and with 15 consecutive win under their belt. It look almost impossible for USA to beat Spain but guess what! Nothing is impossible and Spain was well beaten 0-2 by the American.
Spain beat South Africa in the third place play off. The game was decided after extra time as Xabi Alonso scored in the extra time to gave the Spanish a consolation prize. The third placing game came into life only in the second half. The final few minutes of the second half were amazing and filled with excitement. Three goals were scored in the final few minutes of the second half. South African was 2 minutes from winning the morale boosting third placing match. But Daniel Guiza scored twice in a matter of 2 minutes to put Spain infront. However, there was another twist deep into the injury time when Katlego Mphela his second goal to put the tie into the extra time. In the end, Spain managed to beat South Africa 3-2. It was a great tournament for South Africa as the team played very well and above my expectation.
Golden Ball: Kaka has been awarded the most valuable of the tournament.
Golden Shoe: Luis Fabiano won the top scorer awarded with 5 goals
Golden Glove: Tim Howard won the best goal keeper award.
Player to watch - My choice
Clint Dempsey scored several important goals for the USA team. He is skillful and play with lots of confidence. I would select him as one of the player to watch. Mohamed Zidan is the other player to watch. The striker played very well against the Brazilian and the Italian before went of injured. I would like to give my thumb up to Jozy Altidore from the USA team. He is a young and promissing player with a very bright future.
World Cup 2010 South Africa
South Africa staging the Confederation Cup can be considered a success. The South African team played very well in this tournament and they show that they have the quality to compete in next year Word Cup.
Who do you think will win the World Cup 2010 in South Africa? and why do you say so?
1) Participants of Confederation Cup