Confederations Cup : Semi Final Matches Tomorrow

Spain will play against the USA whereas Brazil will lock horns with host country, South Africa. Semi finals matches for the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa will take place tomorrow. Host country South Africa, will take on Brazil in Bloemfontein whereas the European champions, Spain, will slug it out with the USA in Johannesburg.

South Africa??s campaign in the festival of champions has been full of ups and downs and they merely sailed to the semi finals, thanks to the draw pulled by Iraq and New Zealand in the last group match. The South African pulled a virgin draw against Iraq in the opening encounter and went ahead to beat New Zealand who were the point distributors of the group, 2-0. They were however dominated 0-2 by the European champions, Spain, in the last group encounter. Their qualification for the semi finals is a real exploit however the South Africans do not intend to end there having tasted of victory though they have the uphill task of crushing the South American champions, Brazil who are in top form in the competition. Spain on the other hand witnessed no hitches on their way to the semi finals and are tipped as one of the favourites to grab the trophy. Spain walloped New Zealand, 5-0 in the first group game, beat Iraq 3-0 in the second encounter before edging the Bafana Bafana 2-0 in the third and last group match. After a difficult start against the Pharaohs of Egypt when they carried the day 4-3 thanks to a controversial penalty at the last minute, Brazil gathered steam along the line to crush the USA and World Champions, Italy on an identical 3-0 score. Football pundits see Spain and Brazil as favourites to grab the coveted trophy which serves as prelude to the world football jamboree next year. The greatest deception has been the premature outing of world champion, Italy. In a related story, FIFA president Sepp Blatter in roundtable with the press in South Africa disclosed that the football world governing body will commemorate the death of Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe at the Confederations Cup final on Sunday. It would be recalled, Foe collapsed on the field and lost consciousness during a Confederations Cup semi-final in France in 2003 and died soon after arriving in hospital. « Just before the kick-off when the teams are assembled in the middle of the field, we will have a message to the world about what happened, said the FIFA president. ?? I can announce today that we are going to pay tribute to Marc-Vivien Foe, who died six years ago on that very sad day, June 26, in France. At the final a message will be read out in his honour before the kick-off. We have learned from that terrible event, however, and the issue of heart problems is something we take very seriously now. We carried out tests on eight teams at the recent U-17 World Cup qualifiers in Africa and we discovered that over 60 per cent of those children had never seen a doctor before. We also found that a Namibian player had a heart problem. He was treated and now he is back playing again, he solemnly declared.
Fred VUBEM, Cameroun Tribune

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