USA stun Spain to make final
Spain's long winning streak came to an end as they lost 2-0 to USA in the Confederations Cup semi-finals.
Last Updated: 24/06/09 9:25pm
Spain's record-breaking winning streak came to an end as they lost 2-0 to USA in the first semi-final of the Confederations Cup.
Having cruised through their group without conceding a goal, Spain were looking to seal a 16th successive victory against a USA side that only scraped into the last four on goal difference thanks to a 3-0 success over Egypt on Sunday.
But USA produced an inspired performance against Vicente del Bosque's men and claimed a famous win courtesy of goals from Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey.
It was clear from the first few minutes that Spain would not have it all their own way as USA pressed forward and unsettled the European champions' passing rhythm with some tough tackling.
Charlie Davies almost opened the scoring with an acrobatic effort early on and headed another chance wide, while at the other end Fernando Torres volleyed wide from Cesc Fabregas' cross.
The deadlock was broken in the 27th minute when Altidore picked up a pass from Dempsey on the edge of the area and powerfully turned past Villarreal club-mate Joan Capdevila before driving a shot beyond Iker Casillas.
Dempsey glanced a header off target from Landon Donovan's excellent cross as USA went in search of a second, but Spain gradually grew into the game as half-time approached and Tim Howard was called into action to deny David Villa.
Howard made an even better save down to his left to stop Villa from equalising at the start of the second half as Spain increased the intensity of their attacks.
Spain were far from their best and struggled to create clear-cut opportunities, although Xavi was perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when he was barged over in the box by Donovan.
USA defended bravely as they sensed a historic result, with Jay DeMerit particularly impressive with a number of crucial blocks and interceptions.
Dempsey then gave USA a two-goal cushion in the 74th minute as he capitalised on Sergio Ramos' hesitancy following a swift counter-attack and slotted the ball home.
Michael Bradley was red carded in the closing stages for a foul on Xavi but USA held firm to set up a final on Sunday against either Brazil or hosts South Africa.