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The Americans made it tough, but quality told for the Selecao...

USA 2-3 Brazil
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Brazil fought back from 2-0 down to lift the Confederations Cup of 2009 with a thrilling victory in Johannesburg.

It was a deserved win for the Selecao, but one that also saw the USA show their counterattacking proficiency in the first half.

Clint Dempsey had the first real chance when he flashed a shot wide from twenty yards, but Brazil led up to the ten minute mark by placing pressure on the American final third.

But the USA found an excellent piece of cutting edge in the tenth minute to take the lead, Jonathan Spector launching a deep, deep cross that Lucio failed to deal with. There was Clint Dempsey to guide the ball past an oddly motionless Julio Cesar.

The Brazilians raised their game heading towards the half hour mark, but in fact this was to be their undoing. When Robinho surrendered the ball on the edge of the box in the 27th minute, the Americans launched a superb counter that culminated in Charlie Davies squaring an excellent one-two ball to Landon Donovan.

The ex-Bayern man, still having it all to do, managed a wonderful first touch to dink the ball past Lucio and then drilled home from the edge of the area.

Andre Santos could have pulled one back five minutes later as the Brazilians continued the pressure, but the frustration was clear as he picked up a needless booking soon after.

Robinho's long-range effort closed the half, though, with the impression that Brazil lacked end product despite a surfeit of possession and half-chances.

That was to change almost immediately after the restart. The hitherto-quiet Luis Fabiano netted Brazil's first of the evening with an excellent turn-and-shot from the edge of the box that caught Demerit flat-footed and proved too much for the impressive Tim Howard.

The hour mark approached with Brazil beginning to dominate, Tim Howard having plenty to do, but Davies also had a chance at the other end that Julio Cesar had to parry.

That wasn't before Brazil should have equalised, though. A swooping cross to Kaka saw the midfielder head home off the crossbar, with Tim Howard pawing it off the line. It actually seemed to go across, though, but the assistant failed to indicate a goal.

Still, Brazil managed the leveler soon afterwards, with Kaka being involved in the buildup. An excellent cross on the run found Robinho, who scooped the ball off the crossbar; Luis Fabiano was there to head home the rebound.

American hearts were well and truly broken ten minutes later as Elano's cross was met by a thundering header from Lucio, and Brazil seemed on course for victory.

Onyewu came close with a header at the other end, but Brazil had done enough in the second period to make it a third Confederations Cup.

The USA, meanwhile, will be bitterly disappointed, but have certainly won the respect of the footballing world after a gutsy and technically proficient tournament.

Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com

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