Brazil edge plucky Egypt in a 7-goal thriller; Young Lions kick off the Euros with a win over Finland

Brazil 4 – Egypt 3 (Confederations Cup, June 15, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) Brazil started the tournament in fine style as newly acquired Real Madrid star Ricky Kaka managed to jink his way into the Egypt box juggling the ball before firing home the opener after five minutes. The lead was short lived, Mohamed Zidan powered home Abou Trika’s cross to draw the Pharaohs level inside 10 minutes. It wasn’t long until the Samba Boys got their noses back in-front, Elano’s free-kick was brilliantly guided into the net by Luis Fabiano’s flick header. With the South Africa crowd enjoying themselves in the stands, Brazil marched on to claim a third before the break as Juan headed home an Elano corner. (First half highlights here.) With most expecting Egypt to capitulate in the second half the North Africans stunned Brazil with two goals inside sixty seconds. Mohamed Shawky scored in the 54th minute with a neat finish in the near post, and from the centre Egypt robbed Brazil of the ball, ending when Abou Trika found Mohamed Zidan who equalised with a clinical strike. (Both Shawky & Zidan’s goals can be seen here.) Egypt then bossed the game and looked the more likely to find a winner, only to have their good work undone when Al Mohamady handled Lucio’s effort off the line and, after the red card was brandished, Kaka stepped up to the spot to score the winner.

United States 1 – Italy 3 (Confederations Cup, June 15, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The Americans had Ricardo Clark sent off just after the half hour for a reckless tackle in the middle of the park. The Italians appeared to have been given the lead after Bornstein put through his own net only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside call (wrong?) against Camoranesi. The US immediately went up the other end, Jozy Altidore was brought down for a penalty and Landon Donovan stepped up to score from the spot. (First half highlights here.) The Azzurri levelled just before the hour mark, Giuseppe Rossi crashing home a stunning drive from distance that tore past a helpless Tim Howard. Italy completed the turnaround in the 72nd minute, Daniele De Rossi found the bottom corner with a low shot from 20-yards out. The third Azzurri goal came in the 90th minute, Pirlo produced some great skill on the wing and crossed for Rossi to grab his second of the night with a fine right-footed finish on the half volley.

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England 2 – Finland 1 (U21 European Championship, June 15, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) England opened their European Championship account after 15 minutes against Finland, Gabi Agbonlahor broke free in the inside left channel before picking out Lee Cattermole who scored. The Young Lions’ joy was short-lived, Michael Mancienne was shown a straight red for hauling down Berat Sadik in the box, Tim Sparv having little trouble from 12-yards. After the break England restored their advantage as Micah Richards rose high to power home a header from a corner.

Spain 0 – Germany 0 (U21 European Championship, June 15, 2009) Both sides hit the woodwork in an entertaining draw.

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Start Kristiansand 2 – Molde 2 (Eliteserien, June 15, 2009) Hanssen found a streaking Geir Ludvig Fevang down the left side who slipped a shot past Molde goalkeeper Dorum Lillebakk for the game’s first goal. Pape Pepe Diouf brought Molde level two minutes later, and midway through the second half the visitors moved ahead after Pepe Diouf received a cross from Daniel Berg Hestad right near the far post and headed in his second goal of the game. Start soon equalised as Mads Stokkelien back-heeled a pass to forward Bernt Hulsker who calmly slotted the ball past Lillebakk.

Lillestrom 4 – Fredrikstad 2 (Eliteserien, June 14, 2009)

Aalesund 0 – Viking 1 (Eliteserien, June 14, 2009) Martin Fillo netted the winner after 17 minutes for Viking.