Brazil retain the Confederations Cup after a stunning comeback against the Americans; Bafana lose valiantly in an extra-time thriller with Spain

United States 2 – Brazil 3 (Confederations Cup Final, June 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The Confederations Cup final got off to a brilliant start after ten minutes when the United States moved ahead of the Samba Boys as Clint Dempsey turned home a Jonathan Spector cross from the right. Tim Howard saved from Robinho as the Brazilians looked to strike back quickly. In the 25th minute the Americans scored a superb counter-attacking second, the US broke out of defence through Clarke, with the ball arriving to Donovan, then onto Charlie Davies and finally back to Landon Donovan, and the Galaxy striker applied the clinical finish from 15-yards. (BBC first half highlights & analysis here.) Brazil score a minute into the second half, the ball was fed into Luis Fabiano with the forward’s back to goal, Fabiano spun and his shot beat Howard. The Brazilians then began to turn the screw and their constant pressure eventually paid dividends in the 74th minute when Luis Fabiano grabbed his second after Robinho had hit a Kaka cross onto the bar. In the 83rd minute Brazil’s comeback was complete, Elano swung in a cross from the right and a towering Lucio header gave Dunga the lead for the first time in the final.

Brazil’s trophy celebrations can be seen here.

South Africa 2 – Spain 3 (AET) (Confederations Cup third-place playoff, June 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) It took 73 minutes before the deadlock was broken in the third-placed playoff although Spain had a Sergio Busquets effort chalked off early in second half. When the goal finally arrived it was Bafana Bafana who were celebrating as Katlego Mphela scored from close range converting a left wing cross. Just as the South Africans were beginning to count their chickens Dani Guiza stepped up to fire home an equaliser with three minutes on the clock. Amazingly Spain then scored an incredible second sixty seconds later, Santi played the ball out wide to Dani Guiza and the forward’s misplaced cross ended up curling into the far corner of the Bafana net. But, in almost as unbelievable a twist, one of the best moments of 2009 then played out in the 92nd minute as Katlego Mphela stepped up to thunder home an unstoppable free-kick that ripped past Casillas and forced the match into extra-time. (Second half highlights here.) South Africa pressed in the first half of extra-time while Spain had a point-blank penalty rejected, before Xabi Alonso saw his free-kick miss everyone to find the far corner in the 106th minute of the match.

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Mexico 0 – Guatemala 0 (International Friendly, June 28, 2009) Mexico had much the better of the chances but couldn’t beat Ricardo Trigueno in the Guatemala goal.

Honduras 2 – Panama 0 (International Friendly, June 28, 2009) Allan Lalin claimed the opener with a finely worked goal, the second was a header from a corner in the second half.

Costa Rica 1 – Venezuela 0 (International Friendly, June 27, 2009) Alvaro Saborio won the match with the only goal after 39 minutes, both sides had a man sent off after the break.