Brazil and Italy recover to snatch opening wins

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The Independent Football

Brazil had to rely on a 90th-minute Kaka penalty to overcome Egypt and claim a barely deserved win to start their Confederations Cup defence in Bloemfontein. The South Americans looked to be on their way to an easy win in Group B after first-half goals from Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Juan opened up a 3-1 lead at the break. But two goals in as many minutes soon after the restart, from Mohamed Shawky and first-half scorer Mohamed Zidan, had Egypt dreaming of a memorable win.

Those hopes were dashed a minute from time when defender Ahmed Al Muhammadi handled a Lucio shot on the line and was sent off by referee Howard Webb. Kaka stepped up to coolly convert the spot-kick.

Substitute Giuseppe Rossi scored twice to help Italy mount a second-half recovery against 10-man United States and claim victory in their Confederations Cup match in Pretoria.

The world champions were trailing 1-0 at the break after Landon Donovan scored from the penalty spot, despite the earlier dismissal of Ricardo Clark who was given a straight red card for a foul on Gennaro Gattuso. But the introduction of Rossi just before the hour turned the game. The Villarreal striker blasted home from 30 yards to equalise before Daniele De Rossi put Italy in front with 18 minutes left.

Rossi added the finishing touch in injury time as Italy moved joint top of Group B alongside Brazil.