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Page last updated at 06:04 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 07:04 UK

Spain 0-2 United States

Jozy Altidore celebrates scoring the USA's first goal against Spain

Highlights - Spain stunned by USA win (UK users only)

By Saj Chowdhury

The United States caused one of the biggest upsets in world football by beating European champions Spain in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

Jozy Altidore broke the deadlock on 27 minutes when he turned Joan Capdevila and beat Iker Casillas from 15 yards.

Fulham's Clint Dempsey then doubled the lead on 74 minutes when he converted Landon Donovan's pass from close range.

The defeat in South Africa ended Spain's world record of 15 straight wins and their 35-match unbeaten run.

"It's exciting, a great team effort. To beat an amazing team like Spain and make the final, it's big," said US coach Bob Bradley.

"We played as hard as we could and that's what it took. Every guy contributed, so it's a very good feeling."

It goes to show what hard work and commitment to each other can bring... sometimes football is a funny thing

Tim Howard
US and Everton goalkeeper

US captain Carlos Bocanegra added: "I think it just shows that we can compete with the best. Now we need to do it on a consistent basis."

The US opened the tournament with a 3-1 loss to world champions Italy before being outclassed 3-0 by Brazil but they advanced to the last four by beating Egypt 3-0.

"It goes to show what hard work and commitment to each other can bring," stated US goalkeeper Tim Howard, who made crucial saves to deny David Villa and Fernando Torres. "Football is a funny thing."

Victory meant the US advanced to their first Fifa final, although the achievement was slightly soured by the dismissal of Michael Bradley.

The midfielder, son of the US coach, will now miss Sunday's showdown against either defending champions Brazil or hosts South Africa.

606: DEBATE

The US went close on a couple of occasions before taking a shock lead, with Charlie Davies sending a bicycle kick two yards wide before Dempsey missed by the same margin with a low 20-yard drive.

Altidore, a 19-year-old forward from New Jersey, got the opener when he outmuscled Capdevila, his Villarreal club-mate, before finding the back of the net, despite the best intentions of Casillas.

It was the first goal against Spain in 451 minutes, since Turkey's Semih Senturk scored on 1 April, and only the third goal the Spaniards had conceded in 17 games.

Vicente del Bosque's men, who had beaten New Zealand, Iraq and South Africa to reach the last four, came close to equalising just before the break when Howard was forced to save low with his feet after Torres sold Bocanegra the sweetest of dummies from six yards.

This is an accident, a little step backward... we have to look forward with optimism

Vicente del Bosque

The pressure on the US defence increased tenfold after the interval, with Howard forced to make quality saves from Fabregas, twice from long range, and Sergio Ramos, who rifled in an angled drive at the near post.

Despite using up masses of energy in defence, the US made the most of their one and only break forward in the second half.

Donovan found himself free on the right, surged to the edge of the area before playing in a square ball that Ramos, oblivious to who was behind him, could only touch on to Dempsey, who fired in.

Bradley, who exemplified his side's tenacity, was sent off for a late challenge on Xavi but by that point his side had all but cemented their place in the final.

Del Bosque refused to be too downhearted after the shock reverse in Bloemfontein and insisted: "This is an accident, a little step backward. We have to look forward with optimism."


Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Capdevila, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Fabregas (Santi Cazorla 68), Alonso, Riera (Mata 78), Torres, Villa.
Subs Not Used: Diego Lopez, Albiol, Arbeloa, Marchena, Pablo, Busquets, Silva, Llorente, Guiza, Reina.

Booked: Capdevila, Pique.

US: Howard, DeMerit, Spector, Bocanegra, Onyewu, Clark, Dempsey (Bornstein 88), Davies (Feilhaber 69), Donovan, Bradley, Altidore (Casey 84).
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Pearce, Califf, Wynne, Beasley, Kljestan, Adu, Torres, Robles.

Sent Off: Bradley (87).

Booked: Donovan, Altidore.

Goals: Altidore 27, Dempsey 74.

Att: 40,000

Ref: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay).



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see also
Spain v US as it happened
24 Jun 09 |  Football
Spain 2-0 South Africa
20 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Spain 1-0 Iraq
17 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Spain 5-0 New Zealand
14 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Egypt 0-3 USA
21 Jun 09 |  Internationals
USA 0-3 Brazil
18 Jun 09 |  Internationals
USA 1-3 Italy
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
What is the Confederations Cup?
12 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Is South Africa ready for 2010?
11 Jun 09 |  Football
World Cup: One year to go
11 Jun 09 |  Africa


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