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United States Shocks Spain in the Confederations Cup

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 24:  Jozy Altidore (R) of USA celebrates scoring his sides opening goal with his teammate Charlie Davies during the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final match between Spain and USA at Free State Stadium on June 24, 2009 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Alex BrooksCorrespondent IJune 24, 2009

The United States has defeated the number one team in the world, Spain, by a score of 2-0 in the semifinal of the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The United States lucked their way into the semifinal after beating Egypt 3-0 in the group stage. The US, however, needed Brazil to somehow beat Italy by at least three goals. The dream was realized and the US just scraped by in group play to make it to the semifinals where they would face Spain.

Spain breezed through their group by outscoring New Zealand, Iraq, and South Africa by a score of 9-0. Spain had not been defeated for 35 consecutive international matches.

The United States' tough defense allowed them to slow down the lightning fast offense of Spain's Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres, and David Villa. The United States struck first when in the 27th minute Altidore screened a pass from Clark Davies and put it past the Spanish keeper Casillas.

Spain hadn't been scored on for the entire tournament and had to strike back, but the United States defense held up rock solid with help from defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Jonathan Spector. Landon Donovan created opportunities left and right for the US and was also a key piece for defensive stops.

In the 74th minute, Clint Dempsey put his name on the scorecard off a lucky deflection of a Landon Donovan pass off Spanish defender, Sergio Ramos. The match ended 2-0 and Spain's 35 game unbeaten streak was broken.

The United States will face either South Africa or Brazil on Sunday in the final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

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