FIFA 2009 Confederations Cup Recap – USA stuns Spain 2-0, advances to finals
United States upsets Spain 2-0 to reach the finals
The United States defeated Spain 2-0 in a gritty and tough match.
Heading into the match, Spain were the clear favorites as they’ve been the number one team for the last year and had a 35 match unbeaten streak. They started the match with lots of energy and chances by the US seemed up to the challenge and disciplined defensively. Tim Howard was arguably the man of the match as he had 5 saves and kept the United States’ chances alive early. The defense of Spain had hardly been tested and showed some rust when the United States took a lead on a Jozy Altidore goal. Clint Dempsey sent a pass that deflected and fell to Altidore, who shielded his defender, and took a shot that Casillas couldn’t save. The Spanish goalkeeper got a hand on it but not enough as it deflected into the back of the net. The United States held onto their 1-0 lead despite Spain having most of the posssesion and chances in the first half.
The second half was more of the same as the US played defensively and looked for the counterattack. Spain began to be visibly frustrated as they couldn’t score against a solid US defense and strong goalkeeping from Howard. Both teams used a few substitutes including Benny Feilhaber who made an immediate impact. In the 73rd minute, Feilhaber sent a through ball to Landon Donovan who sent a pass over to Clint Dempsey. The ball was deflected off Ramos and Dempsey was quicker to the ball as he slid it past Casillas for the 2-0 United States lead. Both goals were a little lucky for the USA but they capitalized. The end of the match was a frantic pace as Spain tried to score 2 goals in the last 20 minutes. Michael Bradley was sent off with a red card late in the 86th minute on a late tackle but Spain was held scoreless. Great goalkeeping from Howard, and solid defending helped the United States advance to the semifinals in one of the best victories in their existence.
This is a huge win for the United States who needed to prove they can play with the top teams in the world. After the Confederations Cup is the Gold Cup which is another chance to prove their dominance in the CONCACAF. Can the USA continue their hot streak with a win against Brazil/South Africa on Sunday?
Up next is the winner of the other semifinal, Brazil against South Africa, on Sunday afternoon.
|Jozy Altidore (25)|
|Clint Dempsey (73)|
|Shots (on Goal)||10(5)||4(2)|