Sunday, June 21, 2009

The semi finals of the Confederations Cup were decided today with the United States the unlikely celebrants.

Brazil destroyed Italy with a first half performance that was a sheer pleasure to watch. It was hard to tell whether the Italians were trying to play defensively and hit the Brazilians on the break or whether Brazil just wouldn't let them play any other way.

The 3-0 win would have been a lot more if it hadn't have been for Buffon in the Italian goals and Brazil easing off the constant pressure in the second half.

This should have given Egypt a berth in the second round if they took at least a point or didn't suffer a complete collapse against the US.

They unfortunately did the latter and their 3-0 loss meant the US, who had looked all but out before the day's play started, progressing on most goals scored.

It was an amazing and unexpected turnaround and as much as you feel sorry for the Eygptians, who had played some great football in their first two matches, you have to give full plaudits to the Americans who still believed and turned in the performance they needed to, whilst those around them completely imploded.

Brazil and the US join Spain and South Africa in the final four, after those two sides went through yesterday.

Spain turned in another clinical performance in their 2-0 win over their hosts and although South Africa weren't able to replicate their previous fine attacking form against superior opponents, they certainly didn't embarrass themselves and their continuing involvement will keep the home fans keenly interested in the competition.

As much as they would like to see their boys progress to the final, the rest of the world can start to lick their lips at the prospect of a Brazil-Spain final.

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