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Rossi leads Italian fightback
The American born forward scores twice as Italy beat the USA 3-1.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2009 21:15 GMT

Daniele de Rossi, right, followed by Gennaro Gattuso, centre, and Riccardo Montolivo play a game of catch after de Rossi's goal [AFP]
American-born forward Giuseppe Rossi came off the bench and scored two goals to help Italy beat 10-man United States 3-1 in the Confederations Cup.

Rossi, who was born in New Jersey, equalised with a 30-metre strike in the 59th after the Americans had gone ahead with a penalty from Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan in the 41st minute.

Rossi added a second in injury time after being set up by Andrea Pirlo in the center of the area.

Daniele De Rossi also scored for Italy, sending in a long, angled shot in the 72nd minute.

Three years ago, De Rossi was banned for four games of Italy's World Cup victory for bloodying the face of United States forward Brian McBride with his elbow.

After scoring in the rematch, the AS Roma midfielder was swarmed by his teammates and appeared on the verge of tears.

Donovan extends record

Donovan's penalty was awarded after 19-year-old forward Jozy Altidore was kicked in the calf from behind by Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon dove right and Donovan calmly deposited the ball in the other corner to raise his U.S. record total to 40 international goals.

United States midfielder Ricardo Clark was shown a direct red card for stretching his foot up to trip Gennaro Gattuso right below the Italy midfielder's knee in the 33rd.

Italy joined Brazil at the top of Group B with three points each. The Brazilians edged Egypt 4-3 in the other Group B game.

Italy faces Egypt on Thursday and the United States plays Brazil.

The tournament's run of poor attendance continued, with several thousand seats left empty inside the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, one of South Africa's best known rugby grounds.

Fans blew on horns through the match, creating a deafening sound, and Italian supporters greatly outnumbered American fans.

Rematch

At the 2006 World Cup, a physical 1-1 draw with the Americans was the only blemish on the Azzurri's otherwise perfect run in Germany.

Three years later, nine of Italy's starters were from the World Cup winning squad.

The match started at a languid pace until Altidore started applying pressure to the Azzurri's vaunted defence.

On his first attempt to move in from the right flank, the teenager was tackled by De Rossi, but Altidore then earned a well-positioned free kick that Clint Dempsey sent high over the target in the eighth.

Italy responded five minutes later with a long shot from Alberto Gilardino that rolled directly into the arms of goalkeeper Tim Howard.

United States defender Jonathan Bornstein was shown a yellow card for pulling down Mauro Camoranesi in the 20th and Pirlo's ensuing free kick was headed wide by Legrottaglie.

Michael Bradley, the son of United States coach Bob Bradley, had a great look in the 26th but could only get off a weak shot that bounced into the arms of Buffon.

The Americans had an even better chance four minutes later when Donovan carried the ball upfield between three defenders and passed to Altidore, who passed up a clear chance and shifted the ball back to Donovan instead, allowing the defense to recover and take over.

Pirlo's free kick over a two-man wall was chested wide by Howard in the 32nd and Clark was sent off a minute later.

Donovan was awarded a well-positioned free kick in the 35th but the Americans finishing trouble continued when the forward missed badly high and wide.

Camoranesi denied

The United States was then lucky not to concede an own-goal when Camoranesi was flagged for offside after Bornstein had intercepted a pass and deflected the ball into his own net.

Italy nearly allowed another goal in the 42nd when Buffon had trouble gathering a long shot from Bradley, before Gianluca Zambrotta skimmed a long shot over the crossbar in the 44th.

Despite the man advantage, Italy began the second half at an even slower pace than the first.

The Azzurri stood around mostly inactive until coach Marcello Lippi made two changes in the 59th, inserting Rossi and midfielder Riccardo Montolivo for Gattuso and Camoranesi.

Three minutes later, Rossi's stripped the ball from Benny Feilhaber and drew Italy even.

A long shot from Pirlo was batted away by Howard in the 68th and Vincenzo Iaquinta missed the rebound.

The Azzurri then gathered steam, and Toni replaced Gilardino a minute later as Italy came forward with four strikers.

Source:
Agencies
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