MIAMI, Fla. (July 23, 2003) — In a thrilling CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match on Wednesday evening at the Orange Bowl in Miami, the U.S. Men's National Team let a 1-0 lead in the second half slip away to a tenacious, attacking Brazilian squad, eventually losing 2-1 on a sudden-death penalty kick from Diego. The penalty kick was set-up in the 98th minute when U.S. defender Cory Gibbs was sent off for saving a goal-bound shot from Diego with his hand. Brazil had tied the match in the 89th minute on a goal from Kaka, after the U.S. had taken a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute off the head of Carlos Bocanegra.
“Certainly fatigue was a factor tonight,” said U.S. manager Bruce Arena after the game. “We ran out of gas. Give Brazil credit, they are an excellent team with outstanding attacking players. But I give my team credit as well as we gave everything we had and just fell short.”
The match was played for long stretches at a kinetic pace, with Brazil eventually outshooting the U.S. 16-7. The winning goal was typical of some of the game’s goal-mouth action, with U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller coming off his line to stop a shot off his chest from Kaka. Unable to hold on to the rebound, the ball bounded forward to the Brazilian forward who knocked a pass to his left, past Keller, to Diego waiting unmarked for a chance to shoot on goal with only Gibbs in his way. Despite collecting the ball in an offside position, the flag stayed down and Gibbs was forced to swing his right arm into the path of Diego’s shot.
Referee Carlos Batres of Guatemala immediately showed Gibbs the red card, the first in his seven international appearances, and Diego took the ensuing penalty kick, cracking a shot straight down the center of the goal and past Keller, who had dove to his left.
The match marked the second meeting of the year for the U.S. and the five-time FIFA World Cup champions, and was the 11th overall defeat for the United States in 12 all-time meetings against Brazil. It was also the first overtime match between the two nations and the eighth straight USA-Brazil contest decided by one goal.
The U.S. got on the board first, with defender Carlos Bocanegra heading home his third international goal (and his third of 2003) on a perfectly served ball from midfielder Claudio Reyna about 45 yards from goal. On the goal, Bocanegra slid into the box unmarked and bounced his header downward from six yards out.
For Keller, the defeat ended a run of 22 games in which he had gone unbeaten on U.S. soil, having compiled an 18-0-4 record since February 1998.
"That’s the way it goes,” said the goalkeeper, whose personal and team shutout streak in the Gold Cup ended at 801 minutes. “It’s unfortunate (to lose), because I think we had them. We had four or five good chances to score, and they created a lot of chances too. I think the heat and the humidity were definitely a factor and by the last five minutes you could tell we were out of gas. It was a great game.”
On the tying goal, second-half substitute Ewerthon (who had entered the game just three minutes earlier) dribbled through the area, beating Gibbs with a nifty cutback move into the area and hitting a shot that Keller saved but couldn’t corral. As it did on the penalty kick call, the ball fell into a dangerous area, where Kaka was able to slot a shot into an empty net from close range with just one minute left on the clock.
In addition to the two goals, Brazil hit the woodwork twice, with both efforts coming from Kaka, who attacked from every angle throughout the match. In the 25th minute, the forward careened a shot off the base of the far right post from 20 yards, and then in the 75th minute he forced Keller into the save of the match, smashing a shot from 18 yards out that Keller impressively got a hand on, just enough to force the ball right and off the post.
Brazil also had a goal called back in the 60th minute, when a free kick from Maicon sailed into the box and dropped without being touch at the far post, where Brazil was whistled for offside as they slammed the ball into the net.
The match marked the third time that the two sides have faced off in a Gold Cup semifinal, and the second meeting between the two Top 10 sides in 2003. The U.S. is now 1-11 lifetime against Brazil, with the only victory coming in the 1998 Gold Cup semifinals.
- U.S. Men’s National Team Game Report -
Match-up: USA vs. Brazil
Date: July 23, 2003
Competition: CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal
Venue: The Orange Bowl – Miami, Fla.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 85 degrees and humid
1 2 OT1 OT2 F
USA 0 1 0 - 1
Brazil 0 1 1 - 2
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (Claudio Reyna) 62nd minute
BRA – Kaka (Ewerthon) 89’
BRA – Diego (penalty kick) 100’.
USA (4-4-2): 18-Kasey Keller; 2-Frankie Hejduk, 4-Carlos Bocanegra, 6-Cory Gibbs, 15-Bobby Convey; 8-Earnie Stewart (17-DaMarcus Beasley, 83’), 25-Pablo Mastroeni, 10-Claudio Reyna (capt.) (13-Richard Mulrooney, 71’), 7-Eddie Lewis; 21-Landon Donovan, 20-Brian McBride (11-Clint Mathis, 30’)
Subs not used: 24-Adin Brown, 3-Greg Vanney, 19-Steve Ralston
BRA (4-2-2-2): 1-Gomes; 2-Maicon, 3-Luisao, 4-Alex, 5-Adriano, 6-Paulo Almeida (9-Ewerthon, 86’), 7-Julio Baptista, 8-Kaka (capt.), 10-Diego, 11-Robinho (17-Carlos Alberto, 75’), 15-Nilmar (16-Nadson, 81’)
Subs not used: 12-Negri, 13-Coelho, 14-Andre Bahia, 18-Thiago Motta
Shots 7 16
Saves 7 5
Corner Kicks 2 6
Fouls 16 15
Offside 2 5
USA – Claudio Reyna (caution) 7th minute
BRA – Nilmar (caution) 16’
USA – Pablo Mastroeni (caution) 41’
BRA – Adriano (caution) 61’
BRA – Maicon (caution) 65’
BRA – Carlos Alberto (caution) 78’
USA – Carlos Bocanegra (caution) 85’
USA – Cory Gibbs (ejection) 98’
Referee: Mr. Carlos Batres (GUA)
Senior Assistant Referee: Mr. Vladimir Bertiaga (PAN)
Junior Assistant Referee: Mr. Paul Messam (BAH)
Fourth Official: Mr. Jose B. Pineda (HON)
Chevrolet Man of the Match: Claudio Reyna