- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PRETORIA, South Africa | Of all the Italian players in the new jerseys, the standout was the kid from New Jersey.

Teaneck-born Giuseppe Rossi scored twice in the second half, Daniele De Rossi had a goal and Italy rallied to overcome a Landon Donovan penalty kick and beat the United States 3-1 on Monday night in its opener at the FIFA Confederations Cup.

“I dedicate the goals to my family, who are watching the game on TV in America,” Rossi said. “This is a dream. I’m playing for the world champions, and I also hope to become a world champion next year.”

The United States 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 Donovan scored his American-record 40th international goal after Giorgio Chiellini hooked and kicked Jozy Altidore.

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.

Rossi grew up in Clifton but spurned the U.S. national team program to play for Italy. He entered in the 57th minute and tied the score a minute later with a 30-yard shot after stripping the ball from Benny Feilhaber.

“If you’re playing against the team which is the country where you are born, it’s always a great emotion coming in,” Rossi said. “But when you’re on the field you have no plan. You just think about playing the game and trying to win your game.”

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.

“Certainly it would have been our hope that Giuseppe played for the U.S., but he made his decision and he’s a very talented player, and today was a very exciting day for him,” U.S. coach Bob Bradley said.

The 22-year-old Rossi scored four goals at last summer’s Olympics. He made his debut with the senior Italian national team in October as a substitute against Bulgaria and scored his first international goal June 6, putting Italy ahead in a 3-0 exhibition win over Northern Ireland.

“Rossi gave us a burst of energy,” Italy coach Marcello Lippi said. “He scored a great goal that calmed us down psychologically with a half hour still to go, and then he finished the game off.”

BRAZIL 4, EGYPT 3: Kaka converted a controversial 90th-minute penalty kick, and Brazil opened its defense of the Confederations Cup with a victory over Egypt in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The South American champions opened a 3-1 lead on goals by Kaka in the fifth minute, Luis Fabiano in the 12th and Juan in the 37th, overcoming a fifth-minute goal by Mohamed Zidan. But Egypt beat goalkeeper Julio Cesar twice in a minute, tying the score on goals by Mohamed Shawky in the 54th and Zidan in the 55th.

Ahmed Al Muhamadi was ejected for using his arm to block Lucio’s shot on the goal line, and Kaka made the penalty kick. Egypt assistant coach Chawki Gharib said a protest will be filed to FIFA over the decision by English referee Howard Webb’s to award the penalty kick. The Egyptians think Webb made the decision only after the fourth official watched a replay.

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