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Confederations Cup (4) Spain 0 USA 2

Free State Stadium, Mangaung, Bloemfontein

It’€™s not going to be a Spain vs Brazil final, then.
Whether this result is a reflection of the imbalance in the two groups only today’€™s South Africa-Brazil game will tell. The USA were worth this win, though, hardly allowing Spain a chance.
Spain increasingly resembled the old teams of bottlers who never quite stepped up to the big occasion.
I’€™d noticed earlier they were missing Senna. Iniesta too. That might make a difference next year.
Nil desperandum amigos; apparently Confederations Cup winners never do well at the following World Cup.
One further thought about the Italy-USA group match, it now seems the sending off told most.
And I wish the commentators would shut up about the vuvuzelas (those horns the South African spectators blow continually.) As it’s easy to blank out as background, I barely notice the noise.

Confederations Cup (3) Egypt 0 USA 3: Italy 0 Brazil 3

Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Tshwane, Pretoria

In the words of Sir Alex, “Football. Bloody hell!”

A six goal swing is beyond remarkable.

I spent the night game-hopping and managed to catch four of the goals live and the other two on the first replay.

Italy did not defend like Italy. On the other hand Brazil attacked like Brazil. Italy reverting to white shorts and socks improved neither their luck nor their performance. Buffon was in brown, though; it really is very strange.

Egypt’s goalkeeper El Hadary saved them from a worse defeat even if he made a mistake for the first USA goal.

A Spain vs Brazil final could be tasty.

Confederations Cup (2) Egypt 1 Italy 0

Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg

Italy looked tired to me. They do have an ageing team and it was only two days since their last game. They did have a few chances to score but couldn’t convert.

Egypt were right on it, though. Their goalkeeper, Al Hadary, had a couple of good saves. Egypt took the one clear chance they had – more what Italian teams are supposed to do.

The commentators, though!

How much more patronising can you get?

Is it really a surprise that Egypt won this? They gave Brazil a fright, after all.

Confederations Cup (1) USA 1 Italy 3

Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Tshwane, Pretoria

Last night I watched the Confederations Cup game between the USA and Italy.

I know it’s a nothing tournament dreamed up by FIFA to justify the organisation’s existence but my excuse is it’s the close season and I also have to practice for the World Cup next year.

I thought the USA didn’t keep the ball well enough even before they had the man sent off. Nevertheless they were worth their half-time lead. Italy looked disjointed but they’re Italy. Somehow it was always going to be them winning.

But quite apart from the new lighter shade of blue of their jerseys Italy sported an outfit that completely gives the lie to tales of Italian snappy dressing.

Their shorts and socks were brown.

What on Earth was that all about?

(Spanking first goal from Giuseppe Rossi, though. His other finish was a peach too.)

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