The first half of the semi-final between Spain and the United States was a very free-flowing fast-paced 45 minutes.
Both sides had chances in the early going with the ball seeing time in front of either goal.
In the early going the U.S. had a nice amount of chances and time on the ball, highlighted by a very strong effort by Charlie Davies using a bicycle kick that went wide.
Seemingly taken back by the amount of possession they were surrendering, Spain didn’t begin to truly assert itself until about 15-20 minutes into the match when they really began to press the United States with a bevy of attempts from in close.
Where Spain really have the edge against the U.S. Is in their quick interplay. The Spanish midfield easily moved the ball around with quick touch passes that showed why they are ranked as the best team in the world by FIFA.
The game took a huge turn when Clint Dempsey snuck a ball into Jozy Altidore who did marvelously to hold off Joan Capedevila and turned towards Iker Casillas who he now faced one-on-one. A hard shot to the left of net eluded Casillas who anticipated the shot going the other way. An amazing 1-0 lead for the U.S.
Following the goal, Spain kept their heads and put more pressure on the U.S. defense in an attempt to get a quick one back and almost did off the boot of Fernando Torres lat in the half. It was not to be however as the teams went into the break with a very unexpected score-line.
Shane Evans, Goal.com
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