Italy came from behind to defeat the United States 3-1 in their opening Confederations Cup match in Pretoria, with American born Giuseppe Rossi scoring twice to beat a gallant 10 man U.S. team.
The U.S. had been reduced to 10 men when Ricardo Clark was sent off on 33 minutes for an ill-timed lunge on Gennaro Gattuso. The tackle was a foul, but it did not warrant a straight red card,
But then the US went 1-0 up when Jozy Altidore was fouled by Giorgio Chiellini in the penalty area and Landon Donovan stroked home for 1-0 half-time lead.
The U.S. defended very deep in the second half, inviting Italy to attack them and substitute Giuseppe Rossi did just that. Minutes after coming on Rossi picked up the ball in midfield and as the U.S. defense backed off he fired a great shot into the top corner of the goal.
Thirteen minutes later the US again backed off and this time it was Daniele De Rossi who took advantage to beat Tim Howard from outside the box. Rossi them added a third in injury time as the U.S. players simply ran out of steam.
Overall it was a pretty good performance by the U.S. considering they had to play for almost an hour with only 10 men against the World Champions. The U.S. looked a lot more sound defensively than they have in recent week and Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan is a partnership that can scare any defense.
Next up for the U.S. is a game Thursday against Brazil, who scrapped past Egypt today 4-3 on a last minute Kaka penalty.