presented by
Winning starts

Confed Cup victories for Lucio und Toni

Bayern stars Lucio and Luca Toni have opened their Confederations Cup adventure on a winning note. At the dress rehearsal tournament in South Africa ahead of next year’s World Cup, the FCB men finished on the winning side in their Group B fixtures. Lucio played a major role in Brazil’s 4-3 victory over African champions Egypt, whereas Toni only had a bit part in Italy’s 3-1 success against the USA.

Holders Brazil required a stoppage-time penalty from newly-acquired Real Madrid superstar Kaká to avert an embarrassment in their Confed Cup opener. In front of a 25,000 crowd in Bloemfontein, goals from the same player (5), Luis Fabiano (12) and Juan (37), with a reply from Dortmund hitman Mohamed Zidan (9), had put the five-time World Cup winners in the driving seat at half-time.

Weary Brazilians

However, a lightning-quick double strike from Mohamed Shawky (54) and Zidan (55) hauled the Egyptians right back into it against an unusually nervous Brazil side. The South Americans appeared heavy-legged as the Africans pushed for a shock winner, but the Selecao ultimately made off with the points. Ahmed Al Muhammadi turned a 90th-minute Lucio effort off the line with his hand, allowing Kaka to step up and seal a flattering win.

“I’m just pleased we’ve won. My players are still tired from two demanding World Cup qualifiers and all the travel,“ coach Carlos Dunga admitted afterwards. “We were saved by the penalty,“ match-winner Kaká reflected: “We know we have to improve, and we will improve.“

Ex-FCB man Donovan on target