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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jun 29, 2009

Brazil coach Dunga never doubted final fightback

Brazil coach Dunga had no doubt his side could overcome a two-goal deficit against the United States to win the Confederations Cup in Johannesburg on Sunday night.

The South Americans were in all sorts of trouble less than half an hour into the final at Ellis Park thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, and went into half-time trailing 2-0.

But Luis Fabiano halved the deficit almost immediately after the break and then drew his side level with 16 minutes to play, before a late header from Lucio broke American hearts.

''To overcome a 2-0 deficit is never easy, but if you have committed players that never give up, you always have a chance and we showed that tonight,'' Dunga said after his team successfully defended the title they won in Germany four years ago.

''I think all the players were still focussed on what needed to be done. Being two goals down after 27 minutes, they were still sure of themselves. We were very determined and simply wanted to win.

''The US has always had a competitive team. They are a very tactical team, very disciplined and very physical team. It's always difficult to beat them.''

Asked about his half-time team-talk, the 45-year-old continued: ''I said to them at half-time that something was lacking. A lack of good positioning, so we corrected that and we started pressurising our opponents, with the reward of a goal by Luis Fabiano.

''I brought on two faster players and we also brought on Elano, a very tactical player, and went forward making use of the wings better and scored.''

However, Dunga reserved most of the praise for his players, who he admitted ''made him proud''.

He added: ''My players are a very committed team. They are players that are of high quality, very committed professionals and they are true men, who've been here for 20 days without any vacation or without their families.

''Every day that they play, they give of their best and I am very happy for them.''

Man of the match and player of the tournament, Kaka, was modest after receiving his awards, saying that praise should be given to the whole team.

He said: ''The most important thing as I've always said is to win as a unit. All of that happened and Brazil was the champion. If it hadn't been for the team I wouldn't have been the best player or the man of the match.''

US coach Bob Bradley was bitterly disheartened by the loss and felt that conceding the goal early in the second half was decisive.

''It's a difficult loss, especially after having a 2-0 lead,'' he said. ''The moment that really hurt was giving up the goal so early in the second half and at that point brings them right back into the game.''

However, he wanted his players to hold their heads up high after reaching their first final at a major FIFA event.

He added: ''The feeling is of great disappointment, but also of great pride. When we get past the disappointment, we know we are making progress.

''We will learn from these kinds of experiences and these kind of games, but it doesn't make it any easier on the night. It's been a experience for our team, playing the teams we played and to get to the final.

''But beyond that, the experience for our players in South Africa has been very special. It's something we'll remember and give us motivation to be back here next year for the World Cup.''

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