Johannesburg (S. Africa), June 29 (ANI): The United States came close to denying Brazil the Confederations Cup here on Sunday, losing their match by a margin of three goals to two.
The Americans proved they could challenge the world's superpowers in soccer, though they have yet to defeat them to win a major international tournament.
In a frenetic and mesmerizing game, Brazil got two second-half goals from forward Luís Fabiano. It collected the winner in the 84th minute, when defender Lucio out jumped Clint Dempsey on a corner kick and headed the ball off the left goal post and into the net.
Dempsey and Landon Donovan scored early goals for the Americans, and Brazil was sent scrambling by the Americans' speed and movement.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard was superb in the first half as the United States played a compact and impenetrable defense.
The Americans smothered playmaker Kaká and shut off Brazil's threats on set pieces and counterattacks, four days after they defeated Spain, the European champion and the No. 1-ranked team in the world.
The second half was a different story as the United States learned a harsh lesson about the gap between the world's best teams and the next tier of aspirants.
Brazil played relentlessly from end to end, bringing its backs forward, finding seams in the American defense and displaying the individual brilliance and stirring resolve of a nation synonymous with soccer.
Instead of claiming its greatest victory, the United States could only watch disconsolately as Brazil won the trophy for what is perhaps the third-most important tournament behind the World Cup and the European championship. (ANI)