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Egypt on a high after Italy stunner

EGYPT'S coach Hassan Shehata and his players hailed Thursday's win over Italy in the Confederations Cup as a proud achievement and have set their sights on the tournament's semifinals.

"This is a great result," Shehata said after an emotional night for the Egyptians, whose 1-0 victory over the world champions is their best ever result.

"We had a good game against Brazil technically but the result did not go our way. But this gives us great hope for the semifinals," he added.

"It was a great feeling, a fantastic victory and we are very proud," said striker Mohamed Zidan, who went off with a hamstring injury and said he was unsure of playing in the final Group B match against the United States on Sunday.

"We have realized that we have to stand up together to show some good performances," added Zidan, who scored twice against Brazil in the 3-4 loss in the opening group game on Monday.

Defender Wael Gomaa said it was a thrill to beat a team of Italy's quality after a first-half goal by Mohamed Hommos.

"They were very strong with top players from Serie A and we are really happy about the victory. We know we will need to work hard to beat the US and qualify for the next phase," he said.

Egypt had lost all four previous encounters with Italy, which had never before been beaten by African opponents in 14 previous matches.

Big team

Winger Ahmed Fathi, who had a brief spell at English club Sheffield United, said of the Italians: "They are a big team but all our players gave a lot of effort on the pitch. The Americans will be difficult but we have to win it to go through."

All four sides in Group B can still reach the last four.

Brazil is top with six points, followed by Italy and Egypt on three each. The US have lost their two matches but could still go through if Brazil beats Italy in Pretoria on Sunday and the Americans win handsomely against the African champions.

Italy coach Marcello Lippi noted that his team had created three or four good chances, mostly in the second half.

"I think we deserved at least one goal," he said. "I think Egypt have played two great matches here. We are in a very difficult group, very different from the other group. Their goalkeeper had a fantastic game and things just did not go for us."

Lippi said his team now needed to beat Brazil.

"We've simply got to win," he said. "We will try to take the initiative."

In Pretoria, Brazil put in a much more impressive show, dominating the United States with an improved back line and a more potent attack for a 3-0 victory.

"I like the way we played," Brazil coach Dunga said. "The team didn't let the US pressure us. We changed the ball from side to side very quickly. That helped us a lot."

Felipe Melo scored the first goal for the five-time world champion in the seventh minute, and Robinho made it 2-0 in the 20th. Maicon started and ended the move that led to the third goal, lifting a deflected shot over United States goalkeeper Tim Howard.


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