United States Falls to Italy, 3-1, at the Confederations Cup

Italy's Giuseppe Rossi, left, scores the team's third goal past Tim Howard, right. It was the second of the New Jersey-born Rossi's two goals yesterday.
Italy's Giuseppe Rossi, left, scores the team's third goal past Tim Howard, right. It was the second of the New Jersey-born Rossi's two goals yesterday. (By Paul Thomas -- Assoiated Press)
Associated Press
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi scored twice in the second half and Daniele De Rossi had a goal, leading Italy over the United States, 3-1, yesterday in its opener at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Pretoria, South Africa.

"I dedicate the goals to my family, who are watching the game on TV in America," Rossi said. "This is a dream, I'm playing for the world champions, and I also hope to become a world champion next year."

The United States played a man short after Ricardo Clark was ejected in the 33rd minute for a late tackle on Gennaro Gattuso, but went ahead eight minutes later when Landon Donovan converted a penalty kick for his American-record 40th international goal.

Rossi, who spurned the U.S. national team program to play for Italy, entered in the 57th minute and tied the score a minute later with a 30-yard shot after stripping the ball from Benny Feilhaber. He got his second goal in the fourth minute of injury time from about 10 yards after Andrea Pirlo went around defender Jay DeMerit and crossed.

The 22-year-old Rossi, born in Teaneck, scored four goals at last summer's Olympics. He made his debut with the senior Italian national team last October as a substitute against Bulgaria and scored his first international goal on June 6, putting Italy ahead in a 3-0 exhibition win over Northern Ireland.

De Rossi, ejected and banned for four matches for elbowing Brian McBride in the face when the teams met in the 2006 World Cup, put Italy ahead 2-1 in the 72nd with a 15-yard shot that bounced by defender Oguchi Onyewu and beat goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The United States was eliminated in the first round of the 2006 World Cup, where it went 0-2-1, and the tie was the only blemish on Italy's record as the Azzurri won their fourth World Cup title.

Preparing for next year's World Cup in South Africa, the United States brought most of its top players to this eight-nation tournament. The United States, which qualified for this tournament by winning the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, plays South American champion Brazil on Thursday and closes the first round against African champion Egypt on Sunday.

-- BRAZIL 4, EGYPT 3: Kaka converted a controversial 90th-minute penalty kick, and Brazil opened its defense of the Confederations Cup with a victory over Egypt.

The South American champions opened a 3-1 lead on goals by Kaka in the fifth minute, Luis Fabiano in the 12th and Juan in the 37th, overcoming a fifth-minute goal by Mohamed Zidan. But Egypt beat goalkeeper Julio Cesar twice in a minute, tying the score on goals by Mohamed Shawky in the 54th and Zidan in the 55th.

Ahmed Al Muhamadi was ejected for using his arm to block Lucio's shot on the goal line, and Kaka made the penalty kick. Egypt assistant coach Chawki Gharib said a protest will be filed to FIFA over the decision by English referee Howard Webb to award the penalty kick. The Egyptians think Webb made the decision only after the fourth official watched a replay.

"The referee didn't see the penalty and the linesman didn't see it either," Luis Fabiano said. "It looks like the fourth official told him over the radio."

Zidan was angry.

"We deserved a point today," he said. "It's a big shame that we gave the game away in the last two minutes on a penalty."

Brazil, a five-time World Cup champion, next plays Thursday against the United States.

"Our team is really, really, very tired," said Brazil Coach Dunga, whose team won World Cup qualifiers at Uruguay on June 6 and at home against Paraguay four days later. "With our technical quality we were able to overcome it."

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