This match has to rank with the one immortalized in The Game Of Their Lives when England was beaten, 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup. It compares with the only US win against Brazil in the 1998 Concacaf Gold Cup when Preki scored the match winner.
Jozy Altidore took a deflected pass from Dempsey and El Toro spun Joan Capdevila like a rag doll as he broke free and fired past Iker Casillas, whose hand was not enough to prevent the ball lodging into the back of the net. The move began deep in the midfield when Bocanegra latched onto a Ramos giveaway and launched a long ball wide to the left to Charlie Davis. The striker dished the ball to Dempsey and a neat one two ensued which ended with the Fulham midfielder running to the middle with the ball with the Spanish defense in pursuit. A lurking Altidore converged on the loose ball and the US went up 1-0.
Even worse was to follow in the second half as the US won the ball back and Benny Feilhaber with a great bit of hustle cut in to the middle of the field passing it wide to Donovan who took the ball up and crossed. The ball deflected off Pique's front leg and went to Ramos who was unable to control the ball cleanly and Dempsey quick as a flash pounced on the loose ball and kicked it home. It was 2-0 and a delirious US team celebrated by piling on top of Dempsey's prone body.
Spain was stunned. Pique, Ramos, and Casillas looked disbelieving. With the Spain win, the US enters the Confederation Cup final, their best performance in a competition which boasts FIFA's top three teams. They await the winner of the Brazil vs South Africa match.
As we wrote yesterday Spain was talking about Jozy Altidore's immense physicality in a match preview. We asked the question: If Altidore is the bull, then which cape waving defender will go up against him? The answer. No one.
With this win Bob Bradley gets kudos for changing his tactics. As Daniel points out, one of the keys was that the midfield came to help their defense unsettling Spain's short passing system by quickly closing down the lanes and gaps. Another key was the interchanging positions of their most creative midfielders, Donovan and Dempsey. Bradley was also helped by Charlie Davis whose pace and hustle was too hot to handle and Ricardo Clark's attacking instincts.
Spain looked like a throwback of their yesteryear teams with all that talent which would implode under the weight of their defensive lapses. There must have been times in the match when Vicente Del Bosque must have rued not having the services of iron man Marcos Senna, Villareal's impeccable backfield organizer.