Cup leaves fans with fond memories

2009-08-21 14:00

AFTER every tournament there are always those “wow” moments that linger long in football fanatics’ memories.

City Press takes a look at 10 of the most memorable moments that made the 2009 edition of the World Cup precursor an unforgettable spectacle.

1. USA’s semifinal victory over Spain
Having not been given a chance against the highest-ranked country in the world, the USA’s 2-0 victory was significant in more ways than one. They prevented Spain from setting a world record of 36 unbeaten games and were the first to score against the European champions.

2. Egypt’s 1-0 win against world champions Italy
Rivalling the USA’s victory over Spain in being an upset of the tournament, Egypt produced a scintillating performance to defeat Italy by a solitary goal at Ellis Park. Mohamed Homos’ first-half goal was enough to consign Italy to an unforeseen loss.

3. Bernard Parker’s ‘zero to hero’ status
Following a nightmarish opening game against Iraq, where he inadvertently “cleared” Kagisho Dikgacoi’s goal-bound header on the line, Bernard Parker redeemed himself against New Zealand. The Red Star Belgrade striker netted once in each half to ensure Bafana Bafana’s passage to the semifinals.

4. Fernando Torres’ 11-minute hat-trick
When Fernando Torres struck like lightning against New Zealand it did not only consign the hapless All Whites to the heaviest defeat of the tournament (5-0) but it also meant that Torres scored the fastest Confederations Cup hat-trick.

5. Group B’s dramatic last two games
USA lost their first two games but a 3-0 victory over the Pharaohs, complemented by Italy’s loss by the same scoreline to Brazil, saw Group B ending in a manner that would have left any scriptwriter baffled.

6. Brazil-Egypt seven goal thriller
Eleven goals in four games saw Brazil scoring one-third of the tournament’s 34 goals. Four of those were in an enthralling 4-3 victory over Egypt. Brazil’s counterattacks were the manufacturers of their goals.

7. Superb goals
Of the 34 goals so far those netted by Daniele De Rossi (Italy vs USA), Mohamed Zidan (Egypt vs Brazil), Daniel Alves (Brazil vs SA) were a marvel to watch. But it is Giuseppe Rossi’s 58th minute strike for Italy against USA that should get the nod as the best goal of the tournament.

8. New Zealand’s first point in three appearances
New Zealand’s goalless draw against Iraq in the final Group A saw the Oceania champions recording their first Confederations Cup point in three appearances.

9. The opening ceremony
What was witnessed at Ellis Park on June 14 was a truly African production.

The 20-minute opening ceremony, masterminded by Lebo M, left the 48 837-strong crowd awestruck.

10. Fifa gives SA the thumbs up
The world governing body commended South Africa for the successful staging of the tournament.

Only the transport system and attendance were raised as concerns ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

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