US vs Brazil FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 Finals

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Brazil looked to have ruined the American dream when they met in the group stage, but the USA has discovered a new land of opportunity in the subsequent 10 days.

Their South Africa sojourn threatened to be an embarrassment after the abject 3-0 defeat to Brazil on 18 June. Sunil Gulati, the president of the US Soccer Federation, was inundated with e-mails from angry fans demanding that national coach Bob Bradley be fired. No-one is writing off Bradley's side now.

The US became the first team in Confederations Cup history to qualify from the group stage with three points and a negative goal difference.

They then shocked Spain in the semi-final in arguably their greatest win since the 1-0 defeat of England at the 1950 World Cup. But can they leave the Rainbow Nation with a pot of gold?

No doubt the US will harry Brazil's flair players as they did so effectively against Spain. Modern-day Brazil though are themselves built on a supreme work ethic and have match-winners all over the pitch.

The defending champions are contesting their fourth Confederations Cup final. But if Brazil, a superstitious nation, believe in omens, then victory could come at a price. No Confederations Cup winner has ever gone on to win the next World Cup.


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