New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi scored twice in the second half and Daniele De Rossi had a goal, leading Italy over the United States 3-1 Monday night in its opener at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
PRETORIA, South Africa — New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi scored twice in the second half and Daniele De Rossi had a goal, leading Italy over the United States 3-1 Monday night in its opener at the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The U.S. played a man short after Ricardo Clark was ejected in the 33rd minute for a late tackle on Gennaro Gattuso, but went ahead eight minutes later when Landon Donovan converted a penalty kick for his American-record 40th international goal.
Rossi, who spurned the U.S. national team program to play for Italy, entered in the 57th minute and tied the score a minute later with a 30-yard shot after stripping the ball from Benny Feilhaber. He got his second goal in the fourth minute of injury time from about 10 yards after Andrea Pirlo went around defender Jay DeMerit and crossed.
The 22-year-old Rossi, born in Teaneck, scored four goals at last summer’s Olympics. He made his debut with the senior Italian national team last October as a substitute against Bulgaria and scored his first international goal on June 6, putting Italy ahead in a 3-0 exhibition win over Northern Ireland.
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De Rossi, ejected and banned for four matches for elbowing Brian McBride in the face when the teams met in the 2006 World Cup, put Italy ahead 2-1 in the 72nd with a 15-yard shot that bounced by defender Oguchi Onyewu and beat goalkeeper Tim Howard.
The United States was eliminated in the first round of the 2006 World Cup, where it went 0-2-1, and the tie was the only blemish on Italy’s record as the Azzurri won their fourth World Cup title.
Preparing for next year’s World Cup in South Africa, the U.S. brought most of its top players to this eight-nation tournament. The United States, which qualified for this tournament by winning the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, plays South American champion Brazil on Thursday and closes the first round against African champion Egypt on Sunday.
In Monday’s other game, Brazil beat Egypt 4-3 on a disputed 90th-minute penalty kick by Kaka, his second goal of the match.
Fans constantly blew horns at Loftus Versfeld, a rugby stadium that will be a venue for next year’s tournament. The tournament’s run of poor attendance continued, with several thousand empty seats.
Italy, 4-0-2 against the United States, wore new light blue retro jerseys and brown shorts that hark back to the Azzurri’s first two World Cup titles in 1934 and 1938.
After a lackluster opening half our, the game started to open up when Chilean referee Pablo Pozo gave the red card to Clark.
The United States was awarded the penalty kick when Jozy Altidore cut around Giorgio Chiellini, who hooked his arm around and the 19-year-old and kicked the attacker to keep him from going by.
Donovan fooled goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who dived the wrong way. Eight of Donovan’s last 10 international goals have come on penalty kicks. He’s never missed in nine career attempts with the national team.
An own goal by U.S. defender Jonathan Bornstein in the 40th was disallowed because of an offsides call.