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So Close!
by Paul Kennedy, June 28th, 2009 5:58PM



Like against Spain in the semifinals, the USA took a 2-0 lead against Brazil in the final of the Confederations Cup. But the lead came too quickly Sunday, giving Brazil plenty of time to recover. The Brazilians got back in the game on a goal by Luis Fabiano seconds after played resumed and rallied to win, 3-2, on late headers by Luis Fabiano and Lucio.

The Americans took the game to Brazil and led on goals by Clint Dempsey (his third of the tournament) and Landon Donovan (set up by a superb pass from Charlie Davies).

Tim Howard was again brilliant in goal stopping numerous chances by the Brazilians, including the clearance of a ball that replays showed had cleared the goal line.

Unlike Spain, which tried to attack down the middle, Brazil stretched the U.S. backline, creating most of its scoring opportunities on balls driven into the area from the flanks.

The second-place finish is the best for the USA in a FIFA men's competition.

Howard won the Golden Glove as the tournament's best goalie, and Dempsey won the Bronze Ball as the No. 3 in MVP balloting.

Next up for the USA: Grenada July 4 in Seattle in its opening game of the Gold Cup.

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