Fri, June 19, 2009
Sports > Soccer > 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup

Brazil marches into semifinal of Confederations Cup

2009-06-19 02:37:59 GMT2009-06-19 10:37:59 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Brazil's Lucio (front) vies with a player from the United States during the Group B second round match at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Pretoria, South Africa, June 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

Brazil's Ramires (L) vies with Jonathan Bornstein from the United States during the Group B second round match at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Pretoria, South Africa, June 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

Landon Donovan (front) from the United States drives the ball over a Brazilian player during the Group B second round match at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Pretoria, South Africa, June 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

Brazil's Ramires (2nd L) vies with DaMarcus Beasley (2nd R) from the United States during the Group B second round match at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Pretoria, South Africa, June 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Yang Lei)

PRETORIA, South Africa, June 18 (Xinhua) -- South American champions Brazil became the second squad into the semifinals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup by defeating the United States 3-0 here on Thursday in Group B.

The victory came after European champion Spain has secured a place in the semifinal by collecting six points in two matches, defeating Iraq 1-0 and New Zealand 5-0.

The Selecao Brasileira has been put under spotlight after their sloppy 4-3 win against African champions Egypt on Monday.

Coach Dunga has cited their flight of 32 hours and recent World Cup qualification against Uruguay as major reasons for the result.

Brazilian star Kaka has been quoted as vowing prior to the match against the Star and Stripes that the improvement in their performance would come as the tournament continues.

Kaka's words seemed to turn into reality in Thursday's game as Brazilian players displayed their excellent cooperation in passing and crossing.

Felipe Melo rose to nod the ball into the net in the eighth minute, unveiling the determination of Brazil to final victory.

Twelve minutes later, Kaka ignited a counterattack, Midfielder Ramires later squared the ball to Manchester City forward Robinho who scored at last with a precise shot on the side of the net pole. The trio staged another perfect coordination in the 62nd minute once again with Maicon as the final hero who kicked the ball into the net.

The Stars and Stripes gained two chances to bridge the score gap in the second half but none of them succeeded but only hitting the bar.

U. S. coach Bob Bradley said his players were very nervous and tentative at the beginning of the match as Brazil was always difficult to play with.

"It is difficult to start under pressure. We had hard situation after a goal from Brazil. Players tried to push hard and there is a better start in the second half."

He also attributed the triumph of Brazil to the good coordination among players. "All of them coordinated very well on the field," said Bradley Dunga told a press conference after the match that his players had time to rest. He used some team members who did not play in previous matches.

"They are more energetic and that made the match easier to play. We have tried to place the players in better position to make most of them. They have lived up the expectation," Dunga said.

On the semifinals, Dunga did not play down the difficulties ahead. "Whoever turn out will be challenging opponent because they are among the top four."

Brazil will play with World Cup winner Italy on Sunday in Pretoria while the United States is scheduled to have a game with African champions Egypt in Rustenburg.

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