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soccer team shocks No.

1 Spain, 2-0, in Confederations Cup semifinalBy Michael LewisSPECIAL TO THE NEWS Updated Wednesday, June 24th 2009, 3:55 PM Schmidt/GettyFormer Red Bulls standout Jozy Altidore celebrates his first-half goal that gives U.S.

1-0 lead.

Marcou/GettySpanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas is stunned as Americans score two unanswered goals.BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa - The U.S.

pulled off one of the biggest, if not biggest upset in its history, stunning top-ranked Spain in the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinals Wednesday night.Former Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey provided the offense to lift the United States to a 2-0 victory over Spain at Free State Stadium.The U.S.

will play the winner of Thursday night's semifinal between Brazil and South Africa.It was only the second time in nine games against No.

1 teams that the U.S.


The Americans defeated then No.

1 Brazil, 1-0, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1998.Spain entered the match with two giant streaks -- a 35-game unbeaten streak and a 15-game winning streak.The last time Spain gave up two goals in a game was in a 3-2 win at Greece on Aug.

22, 2007, 29 games ago.Midfielder Michael Bradley was red-carded in the 87th minute for a harsh foul and will miss the final.The Americans played a magnificent game as the defense bent, but never broke and goalkeeper Tim Howard caught or knocked away everything kicked or headed his way.The Americans did not come up cautiously as they forced the action in the opening minutes, keeping Spain on its collective heels.Finally, in the 27th minute, the Americans' efforts finally paid off.

Davies started the scoring sequence by shuffling off a pass to Dempsey, who sent the ball to Altidore.

Altidore shrugged off Joan Capdevila, took three steps and fired a right-footed shot from the top of the penalty area that goalkeeper Iker Casillas got a hand on.

The ball bounded off the left post and into the net for a 1-0 U.S.

lead.It was the first goal Spain had surrendered in 451 minutes, since April 1 against Turkey.It also was only the second U.S.

goal scored against Spain and the first since 1950.Altidore was so elated that he took off his jersey during a celebration with teammates in front of American fans.

Referee Jorge Larrionda (Argentina) slapped Altidore with a yelllow card for taking off his shirt.On the other end of the field in the first half, the Americans packed it in on defense as central defenders Jay DeMerit and Oguchi Onyewu cleared just about every dangerous cross and pass out of the American penalty area.Howard, who was back in the net after sitting out the Egypt match, made the save of the half in the 45th minute, making a kick save on Xavi at the right post.Benny Feilhaber, who replaced Davies in the 69th minute, dribbled through the left side of midfield and sent Donovan the ball on the right side.

Donovan then passed to Dempsey on the left side of the six-yard box.

Going away from the play and Ramos, Dempsey stopped his momentum and slipped the ball past Casillas for a 2-0 advantage in the 74th minute.Ads by Yahoo!EmailPrintRssShareDiggStumbleUponFacebookSee all share links >>Del.icio.usMixxRedditPropellerNewsvineFurl
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