Confederations Cup: Brazil Humiliate USA, Egypt Surprise Italy

19 06 2009

Educational day in Group B of the Confederation Cup. We learned that Maicon vs DaMarcus Beasley is not a fair match up, and that neither is Vincenzo Iaquinta vs Essam El-Hadary.

Brazil 3-0 USA

There was much disappointment from USA fans. And quite rightly. They were pretty much awful. And had a man sent off. Again. This tame it as Sasha Kljestan for a badly timed slide tackle on Ramires. Maybe the US should fire Paul Scholes as their tackling coach? Or maybe heads higher up the coaching staff should roll…

But this game wasn’t all about USA’s woefulness, there was Brazil’s brilliantness too.

Especially Maicon, whose early cross allowed Felipe Melo to head home, and who’s bit of magic produced a beautiful chip over Tim Howard for the third. Inbetween there was that embarrassing moment for US fans where DaMarcus Beasley failed to trap a ball from a US corner and about half a second later Robinho had it up the other end and in the net. A very harsh way to learn a very simple lesson.

Egypt 1-0 Italy

Egypt made sure to keep Group B interesting with a surprise win 1-0 over Italy. Mohamed Hommos headed home a 40th corner (Confed Cup is all about goals from corners, eh?) and Egypt held on to that lead until full time.

Vincenzo Iaquinta will wake up tomorrow wondering how he didn’t manage to equalize. But the answer will be simple: Essam El-Hadary. The Egyptian keeper was in unstoppable octopus mode, blocking shot after shot after shot.

So, now that Egypt have beaten the current world champions… can we stop saying The Pharaohs are “better than you think” and all just agree that yes, they’re actually quite good?

All of which leaves Group B looking a lot like this:


It’s all about goal difference now. So USA have a mathematical chance if they beat Egypt heavily and Italy lose to Brazil heavily. But not a realistic chance.

Italy and Egypt are level on points but Italy has a goal difference that’s just one better.

If it all gets a bit complicated, then FIFA has this to say about Confederations Cup group stage tiebreakers:

The ranking of each team in each group will be determined as follows:
a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
b) goal difference in all group matches;
c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria,
their rankings will be determined as follows:
d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between
the teams concerned;
e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the
teams concerned;
f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the
teams concerned;
g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

So it’s all about the final round of games, which happen this Sunday June 21st.

Brazil vs Italy
Egypt vs USA

Kickoffs are simultaneous at 2:30pm US Eastern.




One response

6 07 2009

Hi. I like the way you write. Will you post some more articles?

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