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Thursday, June 25, 2009

US needs one more miracle as Brazil advances to final

The US must go back to the drawing board and find out how to slow down the masters of ‘the beautiful game’ over the next 48 hours because the rematch of their group play match will be for the Federations Cup Championship on Sunday. Brazil advanced to the final with a 1-0 victory over the host nation South Africa this afternoon. In front of a huge crowd RSA played an inspired game keeping the Brazilians at bay until the 97th minute when a penalty just outside the box gave them a free kick which Daniel Alves, who was recently substituted into the game, promptly banked off the side post and into the back of the net. A perfect strike worthy of the talent of Alves that took all of the euphoria out of the stadium as it was apparent that their hopes of hosting a title victory wouldn’t come to fruition. It was obvious that most interested parties viewed this game as championship match with either side expected to dispose of the US when the money is on the table. With that said, ironically, Brazil is a better draw for the US as they have already pounded them 3-0 and probably won’t make many changes to their lineup or game plan. Over confidence may be their worst enemy (please see Spain and previous post) as opposed to the RSA who would be riding the ether of the stadium and hopes of a nation and, sadly speak, a more dangerous opponent. If the US is going to pull off another upset they’ll need to execute a similar “hold the fort down, then strike when the opportunities arise” game plan and not miss one chance. That’s a lot to ask but after the “miracle on ice” and the “miracle on grass” one more and they are eligible for sainthood. Can they do the unthinkable and will be enough to get US soccer back on the map again?
Let us know here and in the World Sports chat room.

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