Game : Brazil vs United States
Competition : Confederations Cup 2009 Final
Venue : Coca Cola Park, Johannesburg
Kickoff : 28 June, Sunday, 20.30 South Africa time.
After 15 games, we have our two Confederations Cup 2009 finalists. CONCACAF champions USA take on defending champions Brazil in the finals. One hopes to make history by knocking out the African, European and South American champions in succession. The other hopes to defend its crown won in Germany four years ago.
Brazil started their tournament with a hard fought 4-3 win over Egypt, and then crushed the USA and Italy 3-1 and 3-0 respectively to qualify as winners of Group B.
In the semifinals, the Selecao were up against Joel Santana’s South Africa, and unlike their previous games, we did not see a whole lot of goals in this game. The winner came from the boot of Barcelona right back Dani Alves, who curled home a free kick with minutes left on the clock after South African captain Aaron Mokoena had been adjudged to have fouled Ramires on the edge of the area.
Brazil form- last five games- all competitions- Brazil scorers in brackets-
Brazil 1-0 South Africa ( Dani Alves)
Brazil 3-0 Italy ( Luis Fabiano*2, Dossena OG)
Brazil 3-1 USA ( Robinho, Felipe Melo, Maicon)
Brazil 4-3 Egypt ( Kaka*2, Luis Fabiano, Juan)
Brazil 2-1 Paraguay ( Robinho, Nilmar)
Some members of the American side must still be pinching themselves- they looked set for an early exit after early defeats against Brazil and USA left them with a goal difference of -5 and no points.
But Brazil’s 3-0 win over Italy, coupled with the USA beating in form Egypt allowed Bob Bradley’s men to qualify for the last four. And in the semis, they achieved one of their greatest victories of all time, eliminating hot favourites Spain.
Villareal striker Jozy Altidore scored the first goal, and Fulham forward Clint Dempsey the second. The US had as good a day as they come, and if they can play similarly against Brazil, then we could be looking at Miracle on Grass-Part II taking place.
Midfielder Michael Bradley is suspended for this game after being sent off late in the game against Spain. We’ll probably see Feilhaber and Clark in the middle then.
USA keeper Tim Howard had a great game against Spain, and will be hoping for another similar outing against Brazil. Another important player is Landon Donovan, who is probably the best American player in the starting XI.
Verdict:- Brazil thrashed Argentina 4-1 in the final last time around. I think they will defend their trophy, with a 2-1 win. Fabiano, Lucio and Charlie Davies to score.