Confed Cup: Bafana face Brazil after Italy knocked out, U.S. the surprise in semis

2009-06-22 00:00

AS was expected, Bafana Bafana will play Brazil in their Confederations Cup semi-final on Thursday after Group B came to a dramatic close last night when world champions Italy were knocked out in the first round.

Brazil confirmed themselves as winners of Group B, and semi-final opponents of Group A runners-up South Africa, with a devastating 3-0 defeat of Italy in front of a packed Loftus in Pretoria.

The United States managed to come back from the dead in the “group of death” with a near-miraculous entry into the semi-finals by beating Egypt in Rustenburg last night.

The result left the Americans on the same amount of points as Italy and Egypt, but with a better goal difference than the latter and level with the former, though having scored more goals. The U.S. will now meet Group A winners and Fifa’s number one-ranked team Spain in Wednesday night’s first semi-final in Bloemfontein.

Egypt’s exit will have broken African hearts because the African champions had been in good form with a narrow 4-3 defeat against Brazil and shock 1-0 victory over Italy, and there were high hopes for the competition’s dark horses to go all the way in the competition.

The U.S. were in poor form, losing 3-1 to Italy and 3-0 to Brazil.

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