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24.06.2009 22:48

United States surprise Spain (0-2)


Spain suffered a surprising defeat at the hands of the United States in the semi final of the Confederations Cup on Wednesday evening as they were beaten 2-0 to end a run of 35 matches without loss.

The Americans booked their place in the final of the competition in South Africa as they recorded an impressive win in the Free State Stadium against the pre-tournament favourites. Vicente del Bosque’s side were unable to find a way through their opponent’s well-organised and busy defence and saw their long unbeaten sequence come to and end and also their 15-match winning streak tumble.

Three Barça players

PUYOL.ESPANYA_-USA.jpgWith few surprises in the Spanish starting team, Del Bosque began with Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué and Xavi Hernández and all three played for the full 90 minutes. In the opening period the usually fluid Furia Roja had problems finding their rhythm against an United States that had clearly done their homework on the best way to stop Spain. Altidore, Davies and Dempsey had all shown in the opening moments that they were not going to sit back as they probed the Spanish defence, while Cesc Fàbregas looked the most lively player on his team.

Altidore opens the scoring

In the 27th minute the breakthrough came when Villarreal’s Altidore shrugged off the attentions of club-mate Joan Capdevila before clipping the ball past Iker Casillas and in off the post. The goal lifted Spain into action and David Villa and Fernando Torres both have chances to equalize before the interval.

Second goal

xavi_espana.jpgAfter the break Spain looked top lay on the front foot as they pressed forward and tested Tim Howard on regular occasions and could well have had a penalty when Xavi appeared to be fouled in the area by Landon Donovan.

Just when Spain appeared to finding a way back into the game they were undone at the back as the United States netted a second and putt he result almost beyond reach. A low cross saw Piqué flick the ball on and as Sergio Ramos paused Dempsey pounced to prod home. Bradley was sent off for the United States in the 85th minute, but even with a numerical superiority the Spanish could not find a way through and made a surprising exit.
Photos: www.rfef.es
Photos: www.rfef.es
Play-off game
Despite being knocked out in the semi final, the Spanish squad will stay in South Africa top lay the losing team from the game between Brazil and South Africa in the third and fourth placed play-off on Sunday.

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