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USA Complete Six-Goal Turnaround to Advance in Confederations Cup as Brazil beat Italy

22/6/2009
On the eve of kick-off in the Confederations Cup last night, the USA national football side were in need of a miracle if they were to progress from the group stages.

Having lost their opening two games in the competition, Bob Bradley’s side needed an unlikely sequence of results if they were to avoid being eliminated - and they got just that as a thumping three-nil win over Egypt and Brazil’s comprehensive defeat of World Champions Italy combined to send them through to the knock-out round.

Starting the day needing to make up six goals on second-placed Italy, the American’s hopes of qualifying for the next round were hanging by a thread, but an early goal from Charlie Davies eased their nerves and put them in the driving seat against an Egypt team lacking the inspiration of star striker Mohamed Zidan.

The score remained locked at 1-0 at half-time, but the news that Italy were being trounced 3-0 in the evening’s other fixture ensured that the USA took to the field with renewed confidence in the second half. Now knowing that if they could score twice without conceding they would be through, the Americans started on the offensive.

Before long, Michael Bradley made it 2-0 and the expectation became palpable. The Egyptians looked shell-shocked and, knowing that their own chances of qualification were rapidly ebbing away, they conceded the killer third goal when Premier League star Clint Dempsey headed home in the 71st minute.

The 3-0 score-line held, and with news filtering in that Italy hadn’t managed to turn around their match against Brazil, the Red, White and Blue booked their place in the knock-out phase in truly dramatic fashion.

The USA will now face European Champions Spain on Wednesday 24 June.
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