Shocks and style on century day
(FIFA.com) Thursday 18 June 2009
On the day that the FIFA Confederations Cup racked up a century of games, there were contrasting fortunes for two of the giants of world football. Brazil are all but assured of a semi-final spot with victory over USA in Tshwane/Pretoria, while Italy suffered their first-ever defeat against African opposition when they lost to Egypt by a single goal in Johannesburg.
The 100th game of this tournament witnessed one of the most surprising results in its history, as Hassan Shehata's side defeated the world champions, thanks to Mohamed Homos' 40th-minute header. It was only the second time in the history of the competition that an African side had defeated a European one, the last being in 2003 when Cameroon defeated Turkey.
The FIFA Confederations Cup began life on 15 October 1992 and back then, just as today, USA were on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline. Seventeen years ago, it was Saudi Arabia who inflicted the defeat, but today Brazil provided the punishment. Goals from Felipe Melo, Robinho and Maicon secured the straightforward victory for the Seleção in a game they controlled from start to finish.
USA 0-3 Brazil
Egypt 1-0 Italy
Goal of the day
Maicon, 62': Although there were four contenders to choose from today, the full-back's finish was the pick of the bunch. The Budweiser Man of the Match began the move on the right flank and rounded it off in style. Beating two players, he found Ramires, who played the ball to Kaka. The former FIFA World Player of the Year found Maicon on the overlap, who fired the ball past Tim Howard into the roof of the net from the tightest of angles. It may have taken a deflection off Jonathan Bornstein, but the Inter Milan man deserves all the credit.
Who's the daddy? (84'): As South Africa gears up to celebrate Father's Day on Sunday, Robinho decided to turn the tables around by sending a special greeting to his son. After his goal, the Manchester City forward ran to the cameras to send Robson Junior a special message in an impromptu pitch-side interview. Following the game, he told the media: "I dedicate all my goals to him. He was a present from God."
El Hadary vs. Iaquinta (54', 70' and 78'): Before the game Essam El Hadary was probably expecting a busy night against Italy, but he probably would not have expected to play such a key role in an Egyptian victory. Although he pulled off a stunning save to deny Giuseppe Rossi in the first half, it was the second-half duel between the FC Sion goalkeeper and the Juventus forward which proved to be the most enthralling. Twice Iaquinta was presented with a one-on-one opportunity with El Hadary; twice the keeper saved. Then, Egypt's No1 produced a stunning low stop when the striker turned and shot inside the box.
13 - It's considered to be ‘unlucky for some' and it certainly was for USA. Thirteen indicates the number of seconds between Landon Donovan's corner, DaMarcus Beasley's mistake, Andre Santos's interception, Kaka's run and Robinho's finish.
For a more in-depth statistical look at the day's action, be sure to read FIFA.com's ‘Day 4 in numbers' piece. Click on the link on the right hand side for the full story.
In the crowd
When the Egyptian fan who made the banner saying ‘Sorry Italy - Try Next Time' he was probably feeling a little optimistic. When he brought it to Ellis Park Stadium, he might have been feeling a little foolish and when he was pictured waving it in front of the television cameras, he may have even been feeling a little embarrassed. Yet, it proved to be time and money well spent as the Egyptians secured a famous victory against Marcello Lippi's men.
"This is a big wake up call for Italy. They need to call up the younger players for the World Cup next year," LarsisStoked, writing in the FanChat section of the EMIRATES MatchCast during the Egypt-Italy game