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June 24, 2009

USA upsets Spain, wins 2–0 in FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal

USA upsets Spain, wins 2–0 in FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

24 June 2009
Spain 0 – 2 United States Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Attendance: 35,369
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)
Report Altidore Scored after 27 minutes 27′
Dempsey Scored after 74 minutes 74′
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Clint Dempsey’s goal (73′) sealed the victory for the USA.
Image: Jarrett Campbell.

The United States defeated Spain in the semifinal round of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, claiming their first berth in the tournament’s final. The United States, ranked #14 in FIFA World Rankings, snapped Spain’s 35-match unbeaten streak heading into the game.

The loss prevented Spain from setting a new world record of 36 matches without defeat. Spain, the UEFA champion, had set an international record with 15 straight victories and was trying to stretch its unbeaten streak to 36, breaking the mark set by Brazil from December 1993 to January 1996

The match was held at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The FIFA Confederations Cup has been held there as a prelude to next year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Spain was ranked #1 heading into the match and were deemed heavy favorites. They had won their group games with ease and were expected to do so again against the United States, who barely qualified for the semifinal rounds over Italy. Just days ago, the United States was on the verge of elimination after losing their first two matches of the tournament. The United States had been 1–7–1 against top ranked teams heading into the match and lost its three previous matches against Spain in 1950, 1992, and 2008. The United States qualified for the tournament by winning the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

A goal by Jozy Altidore (25′) gave the United States the lead at halftime and a goal by Clint Dempsey (73′) sealed the victory. The team attempted only four shots, two of which were on goal and both scored. Meanwhile, Spain attempted eleven shots with six on goal.

The United States will play defending Confederations Cup champion Brazil or host team South Africa on Sunday in the tournament finals.



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June 8, 2008

South Africa defeats Wales 43-17 in rugby test match

South Africa defeats Wales 43-17 in rugby test match

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

The South African national rugby team has defeated the Welsh equivalent 43-17 in a home rugby test match at Bloemfontein.

South Africa scored four tries to defeat current Six Nations champion Wales. Conrad Jantjes, Jean de Villers, Pierre Spies and Percy Montgomery all scored tries, Montgomery having been substituted on in the second half. Welsh tries were scored by Jamie Roberts and Shane Wiliams and all remaining points came from conversions and penalties.

Stephen Jones converted a try for Wales, while Butch James converted all of South Africa’s. After CJ van der Linde and Richard Hibbard got into a fight, both men were sent off. It was the first match in charge for new South Africa coach Peter de Villiers.

Wales captain Ryan Jones later explained his team’s defeat. “We made too many mistakes. South Africa capitalized whenever we lost possession, but we have no excuses,” he said.



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October 14, 2006

Cheetahs and Blue Bulls draw 28-28 in Currie Cup rugby final

Filed under: Archived,Bloemfontein,Rugby,South Africa,Sports — admin @ 5:00 am

Cheetahs and Blue Bulls draw 28-28 in Currie Cup rugby final

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

The 2006 Currie Cup domestic rugby union final ended in a draw, with the Free State Cheetahs and Blue Bulls drawing 28-all after 20 minutes of extra-time at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein. The last time a Currie Cup final ended in a draw was in the 1989 season. The game was played in front of a packed Vodacom Park, with all tickets being sold out on the first day.

The final was the first in Bloemfontein since the 1994 season at Springbok Park, where Transvaal defeated the Free State team. The 2006 final is the third in succession which features both the Blue Bulls and Cheetahs, with the teams being the finalists since the 2004 season. The Blue Bulls won the 2004 final at Loftus Versfeld, and then in 2005 the Cheetahs defeated them at Loftus in the final. The 2006 season kicked off in June, with the regular season finishing after 14 rounds in late September. The Cheetahs finished in first place on the season table, with the Blue Bulls behind them in second place. The Blue Bulls defeated Western Province in the semi finals, with the Cheetahs defeating the Sharks to win theirs to set up the final.

The scoring opened up in the third minute with a penalty kick to the Cheetahs through Willem de Waal. Successful with the kick, the Cheetahs opened up a three point lead over the Bulls. Phillip Burger scored for the Cheetahs, and JP Nel scored his side’s first try of the match, three minutes before halftime. However the conversion attempt was wide. The Cheetahs entered the halftime break leading the Bulls 14 points to eight.

Four minutes into the second half the Blue Bulls scored their second try, with Marius Delport gathering up a kick to score. Morné Steyn kicked the conversion, taking the score to 15 to 14, making it the first time in the match that the Blue Bulls were leading. The Cheetahs took back the lead in the 49th minute, with another penalty kick to take them to 17-15. A long range kick from the Blue Bulls put them back in front in the 55th minute, to lead by one point, 18-17. The Cheetahs hit back through Kabamba Floors, scoring a try minutes later. The Cheetahs extended their lead in the 60th minute with another penalty kick. With three minutes remaining, Nel scored his second try and Steyn kicked the conversion to draw the Blue Bulls level 25-all with around two minutes left in the match.

After 80 minutes the game was taken into extra time after a short break in play. The Blue Bulls were awarded a penalty after three minutes of extra time and Steyn kicked it successfully to take the Blue Bulls to 28-25. The Cheetahs came close to equalising in the seveth minute of extra time with a penalty kick, but the ball hit the upright and bounced away. Meyer Bosman kicked a penalty for the Cheetahs in the 14th minute of extra play, drawing the scores equal at 28-all. The game ended soon after, ending in a draw.

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October 7, 2006

Cheetahs and Blue Bulls to meet in 2006 Currie Cup rugby final

Filed under: Archived,Bloemfontein,Pretoria,Rugby,South Africa,Sports — admin @ 5:00 am

Cheetahs and Blue Bulls to meet in 2006 Currie Cup rugby final

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Saturday, October 7, 2006

The Free State Cheetahs and the Blue Bulls will meet next week in the 2006 Currie Cup final, South Africa’s domestic club rugby competition. The Bulls were the first to go through, winning the first semi final against rivals Western Province, and the Cheetahs won their semi against the Sharks.

The Blue Bulls hosted WP at home, at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. The Blue Bulls led WP 20 to nine at half time. The gap was closed to 23-16 in the second half, but the home team eventually ran away with the game, in the end, winning 45 points to 23.

At the second semi-final at Bloemfontein, the Cheetahs hosted the Sharks at the Free State Stadium. The Free State were up 17 to nil during the first half. The score was furthered to 24 points, but the Sharks’ JP Pietersen scored minutes before the half finished to give the Sharks their first points, and the game went onto halftime, Cheetahs leading 24-7. The Cheetahs held onto the game, winning 30-14.

The Cheetahs will host the final next week, being the highest place finalist (first, the Blue Bulls were second). The final will be the third Blue Bulls/Cheetahs affair in a row, and the fifth Blue Bulls appearance in a row.

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