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Specs' Spanish archer

Filed: Wednesday, 24th June 2009
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United's Jonathan Spector starred for the USA tonight as they overcame the odds to send Spain tumbling out of the Confederations Cup.

The unfancied Americans defied the pre-match odds to win 2-0 through goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey, and put themselves into this weekend's final where they should face South American champions Brazil (they face host nation South Africa in tomorrow night's second semi-final).

Despite having sent world champions Italy packing in the Group stage the US remained a massive underdog for this evening's encounter, with most pundits expecting this first semi-final to be a walk in the park for the reigning European champions. However the Spaniards had no answer to a stubborn defensive performance in which the 23-year-old Hammer more than played his part.

Despite raining 29 shots down on Tim Howard's goal the Spanish somehow failed to convert a single opportunity. Iker Casillas faced just nine efforts at the opposite end but saw his goal breached twice - first by Altidore on 27 minutes and then by Dempsey, who wrapped up an unlikely win 16 minutes from time after pouncing on an error by the unfortunate Sergio Ramos.

Spector, who started the tournament quietly has impressed in the US's two most recent games. With Lucas Neill still to make a decision over his immediate future, the likeable American is doing his chances of first team football under Gianfranco Zola next season no harm at all.

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