Brazil's Kaka celebrates with his Golden Ball trophy after his team won the final match against the United States at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 28, 2009. Brazil won 3-2 and claimed the champion. [Xinhua]
Brazilian duo Kaka and Luis Fabiano shone on Sunday in the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup, helping the South Americans win a record third trophy in the intercontinental tournament.
Brazil, winner in 1997 and 2006, beat North American champions the United States 3-2.
For the United States, it was also a historic mark as it was the first time for the country to sail into a world final.
Kaka, who has recently joined Real Madrid, was honored as the best player, while his compatriot, Sevilla FC striker Fabiano, went home with the Golden Shoe as the tournament's top scorer.
Down 2-0 in the first half, Brazil unrelentingly mounted pressure on the opponents. The equalizer came in 74th minute as Kaka slided the ball across to Machester City forward Robinho.
Fabiano slot the ball home finally after Robinho's shot hit the crossbar and bounded back.
Kaka had been denied a goal before the sublime assistance display. Despite the setback, no one could deny that Kaka played a crucial role in the attack by evading two U.S. defenders successfully.
Brazil's Luis Fabiano celebrates with his Golden Shoe trophy and Silver Ball trophy after his team won the final match against the United States at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 28, 2009. Brazil won 3-2 and claimed the champion. [Xinhua]
Prior to the pivotal shot, Fabiano reignited the hope of Brazil one minute after the interval. The forward received the pass from Maicon and fired past U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard.
With five goals in five games, the gifted striker topped the goal-getter rankings in the Confederations Cup and became the fourth Brazilian with the honor of the Adidas Golden Shoe.
For the first goal of Brazil within the first minutes after the interval, U.S. coach Bob Bradley told the press conference after the match that Fabiano showed quick turn and had clear idea and organization.
Brazilian's centre-back Lucio's header before the net sealed a perfect end to the country's rush to the trophy.
The historic triumph came after European champions Spain on Sunday regained its vigor and took the third place of the FIFA Confederations Cup by beating hosts South Africa 3-2.
After a scoreless half, the match was featured by stunning twists and turns. The Bafana Bafana broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute, with substitute Katlego Mphela sending the ball home with a powerful shot.
Spaniards did not lose control but staged an astonishing blitz in the 87th minute. Forward Daniel Guiza became the hero with two goals in two minutes. He first shot the ball into the net from the edge of the area, then one minute later he got the ball on the right and fired it into the far top corner.
To the surprise of South African fans, their players did not give up easily. Mphela's free-kick into the top corner forced Spain to enter into the extra time.
La Roja did not give more chances to the opponents this time. Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso grasped an opportunity of free-kick and secured the victory by hammering the ball into the bottom corner.
South African coach Joel Santana was quoted as saying that he believed the Bafana Bafana's achievements at this tournament will stand them in good stead for what is to come in 12 months' time.
"We have had a good Confederations Cup, so it's a positive experience for us and our players," said Santana.
(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2009)