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JS defies the odds

Filed: Monday, 22nd June 2009
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's Jonathan Spector starred as The USA beat Egpyt 3-0 to secure passage to the Confederation Cup semi-finals.

The Americans went into the final Group B game here in South Africa needing a win and a six-goal swing to see them through to the semi-finals, having lost their opening two games of the tournament. With Brazil thrashing current World champions Italy 3-0 in the group's other game, the US defied the odds to go through on goal difference thanks to their own 3-0 win over the African champions..

Spector - who was mostly ineffective againt Brazil and Italy earlier this week - had a much better game last night and provided the cross that led to the US's vital third goal, converted by Clint Dempsey with just 19 minutes of the gme to remaining. The other goals were scored by Charlie Davis (21 mins) and Michael Bradley.

The US now face European champions Spain in the semi-final of the tournament in Bloemfontein on Wednesday night. Hot favourites Brazil face hosts South Africa in the other semi-final.

The Confederations Cup?

The Confederations Cup is a competition now held every four years (two initially) for the six holders of the CAF (Africa), CONMEBOL (South Africa), UEFA (Europe), AFC (Asia), OFC (Oceania) and CONCACAF (Americas) football federation championships - plus the current World Cup holders and forthcoming World Cup final hosts.

It is held the year before the World Cup finals in the same country that will be hosting the main tournament as a 'dress rehearseal', and uses the same stadia that will be used in the finals.

The previous winners of the Confederations Cup are Brazil (1997, 2005), Mexico (1999) and France (2001, 2003).

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