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.

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Valerenga 1 – Rosenborg 2 (Tippeligaen, June 27, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The runaway league leaders were found themselves behind at the break after Andre Muri had scored with a fine diving header. Rosenborg levelled 20 minutes from time after Muri went from hero to zero putting through his own net, and the comeback was complete when Rade Prica scored a fabulous looping header from 10-yards out to win the match in the final minute.

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LA Galaxy 1 – Houston Dynamo 0 (MLS, June 28, 2009) Todd Dunivant poked home the only goal of the game midway through the first half after a short corner.

Seattle Sounders 3 – Colorado Rapids 0 (MLS, June 28, 2009) Fredy Montero claimed his fourth in consecutive games for the opener. Cummings missed a penalty to bring Colorado level and the home side added gloss to the win in the second half through a brace from Nate Jaqua.

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KC Wizards 1 – Santos Laguna 3 (SuperLiga, June 28, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) In the 61st minute, Agustin Herrera took a through ball from Walter Jimenez and fired a low shot to keeper Kevin Hartman’s left from 13 yards.  Matias Vuoso’s header in the 74th minute made it 2-nil, before Claudio Lopez scored with an 80th minute free-kick for Kansas. Juan Pablo Rodriguez sealed the win with a third in stoppage time that sent the Mexicans into the semis.

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Yokohama F. Marinos 1 – Gamba Osaka 2 (J-League, June 28, 2009) Gamba Osaka returned to winning ways after both Yasuhito Endo and Hideo Hashimoto capitalised on a poor clearances from home keeper Hiroki Iikura.

Albirex Niigata 2 – Nagoya Grampus Eight 1 (J-League, June 28, 2009) Albirex midfielder Toshihiro Matsushita scored twice to give the hosts a win over 10-man Nagoya.

All the goals from the weekend’s action in Japan can be seen here.

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Guangzhou Pharmaceutical 1 – Beijing Guoan 1 (Chinese Super League, June 28, 2009) Second-placed Beijing took a first half lead through Yan Xiangchuang, but were pegged back after the break as Xu Liang levelled from the spot.

Shandong Luneng 1 – Changsha Ginde 1 (Chinese Super League, June 27, 2009) The defending champions Shandong fell behind in the first half to Liu Jianye’s 42nd minute goal, but Wang Yongpo rescued a point for the hosts 19 minutes from time.

Tianjin Teda 3 – Shenzhen Xiangxue 0 (Chinese Super League, June 27, 2009) Tianjin Taida remain in touching distance of the top spots currently holding fourth, He Yang (25), Cao Yang (63) and Mao Biao (68) got the goals to down Shenzhen on Saturday.

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Internacional 3 – Coritiba 0 (Campeonato Brasileiro, June 28, 2009) Bolanos Leon claimed a second-half hat-trick to send Internacional top.

Fluminense 0 – Flamengo 0 (Campeonato Brasileiro, June 28, 2009) Rio de Janeiro’s foremost derby between Fluminense and Flamengo ended goalless at the Maracana.

Sport Recife 3 – Gremio 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, June 28, 2009) Sport moved off the bottom of the table after they beat 10-man Gremio. Fabiano, Elder Granja and Fumagalli scored for Emerson Leao’s side, while Jonas levelled the scores momentarily before he was shown red.

Vitoria 4 – Santo Andre 1 (Campeonato Brasileiro, June 28, 2009) 19-year-old Elkeson, in his first start for Vitoria, put his side ahead four minutes into the second half, before Uellinton headed the ball into the net thirty minutes later following a Leandro Domingues free-kick. Five minutes later, Roger widened the lead and, after Moraes had reduced the gap with a strike for Santo Andre, Roger netted again to make it 4-1.


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