Created on 29-06-2009 at 00:00 AM
Bayern stalwart and Brazil captain Lucio led by example as the South Americans claimed the Confederations Cup in South Africa on Sunday night, their third triumph after previous successes in 1997 and 2005. The holders were 2-0 down at half-time in Johannesburg to underdogs the USA, but upped the tempo in a pulsating second half to run out 3-2 winners.
Luis Fabiano scored directly after the restart and again with quarter of an hour remaining, moving on to five goals for the tournament, before Lucio thrilled the 52,291 at Ellis Park with an 84th-minute header to seal Brazil’s comeback. Clint Dempsey (10) and former Munich triallist Landon Donovan (27) had earlier threatened to fire the US to a shock victory. “The goal means a very great deal to me. It’s been a hard tournament, but the team battled to the very end. I thank God and the team,” match-winner Lucio declared afterwards.
Top of the world
In a match which often provided quality entertainment, Carlos Dunga’s side appeared weary but prepared to fight for the victory. The North Americans were seemingly in the driving seat at half-time, but were ultimately unable to withstand the favourites’ second-half onslaught. After winning all five of their matches at the World Cup dress rehearsal, the Selecao will now displace Spain at the top of the FIFA World Ranking.