Dempsey condemns Spain to first defeat in three years

Spain 0 United States 2

The United States will contest the Confederations Cup final after causing a huge upset in Bloemfontein last night by inflicting Spain's first defeat since 2006. Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey scored the goals as the US, having lost their opening two games in the tournament and only squeezed through Group B by the skin of their teeth, set up a final showdown against either Brazil or South Africa on Sunday.

The result was one of the biggest shocks in recent international history, with the Spanish having broken the record for consecutive wins with their 15th on the trot against South Africa at the weekend. The European champions would also have claimed the record for the longest unbeaten run if they had avoided defeat last night, having drawn level with Brazil's run of 35.

Even the 86th-minute dismissal of Michael Bradley – son of coach Bob – could not deny the US, who were left to celebrate a famous victory.

The US goalkeeper, Everton's Tim Howard, said: "We all know about the US beating England back in the World Cup in 1950 but this result, in the semi-finals of a major Fifa competition watched by millions around the world, has to rank right up there among the greatest upsets of all time."

The Spain coach, Vicente Del Bosque, said: "We are not used to losing any longer. Every defeat hurts. Today we needed the final touch. We had many opportunities but they really closed the door on us."

The Americans started brightly and the Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas found his goal under threat from Altidore and Charlie Davies early on. Cesc Fabregas then sent a dipping shot over the bar before he threaded over a superb cross that Fernando Torres was just unable to convert.

That was all in a breathless opening 12 minutes, and both sides continued to push forward before the US took the lead through Altidore in the 27th minute. Dempsey played the ball into his strike partner on the edge of the box and the 19-year-old was allowed to turn Villarreal team-mate Joan Capdevila far too easily before firing in a shot that Casillas got his hand to but could not keep out.

With their record in danger, Spain came out in the second half with all guns blazing. Just two minutes after the restart Howard produced a superb save to tip away Villa's effort.

But Spain could not find the breakthrough, and their hopes of reaching the final were crushed when the US scored again in the 74th minute. Donovan's low cross should have been cleared by Ramos at the far post, but Dempsey showed quick reactions to prod the ball away from the Real Madrid defender and past Casillas. Bradley was shown a red card for a heavy challenge on Alonso, but by then it was all over.

Spain: Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Capdevila, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Fabregas (Santi Cazorla, 68), Alonso, Riera (Mata, 78), Torres, Villa. Substitutes not used: Diego Lopez, Albiol, Arbeloa, Marchena, Pablo, Busquets, Silva, Llorente, Guiza, Reina.

US: Howard, DeMerit, Spector, Bocanegra, Onyewu, Clark, Dempsey (Bornstein, 88), Davies (Feilhaber, 69), Donovan, Bradley, Altidore (Casey, 84). Substitutes not used: Guzan, Pearce, Califf, Wynne, Beasley, Kljestan, Adu, Torres, Robles.

Referee: J Larrionda (Uruguay).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks