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Italy out of Confed Cup after 3-0 loss to Brazil

LUIS Fabiano scored a pair of first-half goals to help Brazil beat Italy 3-0 yesterday and eliminate the world champions from the Confederations Cup.

Brazil scored the three goals in an eight-minute span just before halftime, with Luis Fabiano getting on the board in the 37th with a low shot from inside the area and adding another goal from close range in the 43rd.

Brazil added to the lead on a breakaway in the 45th when Italy defender Andrea Dossena scored an own-goal.

"Our team showed physically, technically and in all aspects that it was superior to a great team, a team which is the current world champion," Dunga said.

The Italians needed to beat Brazil by at least two goals to reach the semifinals without having to depend on the other Group B match between Egypt and the United States, but they were outplayed from the start by the Brazilians.

With Egypt's 3-0 loss to the United States in Rustenburg, one goal against Brazil would have been enough to qualify Italy instead of the Americans on goal difference.

"I feel a little bitter and even the players are saddened," Italy coach Marcello Lippi said. "They didn't portray a very nice image of Italy, but we know the image of Italy is not the one we portrayed in these three matches."

Brazil will face South Africa in the semifinals, while the United States will play Spain.

The result at the nearly packed Loftus Versfeld Stadium kept alive Brazil's 27-year unbeaten streak against the Italians, who haven't won since the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

"The difference between us and them is that we improved as the tournament has gone along," Kaka said. "Italy did the opposite."

In the first high-profile match at the tournament being used as a World Cup warmup, Brazil quickly took control of the match, taking advantage of the many spaces left in the Italian defense.

Luis Fabiano put Brazil ahead after intercepting a weak shot by right back Maicon inside the area. The striker turned around and sent a low shot into the far corner as Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon charged from the goal.

Luis Fabiano added his second after a quick exchange of passes with Robinho and Kaka. Kaka's final pass eventually found Luis Fabiano near the penalty spot and he just touched the ball into the back of the net.

"I'm very happy for having scored and with the match Brazil played," Luis Fabiano said. "It comes from a lot of effort and a lot of work."

Brazil added to the lead in a breakaway just before halftime when Dossena found his own net while trying to intercept a pass from Robinho to Ramires, who was free from any markers and in position to score inside the area.

Ramires had already missed a good chance for Brazil when his shot from close range in the sixth minute scraped the corner between the post and crossbar after Buffon was already beaten.

Brazil captain Lucio almost got on the board twice in the 34th minute. After clearing two defenders inside the area, his low cross was deflected by a defender and hit the far post, and then his hard shot from close range in the following play was saved by Buffon.

Italy's first shot on goal came only in the 28th, when Mauro Camoranesi hit a powerful right-footer from outside the area, just missing over the crossbar.

In the 75th, Julio Cesar was caught off the goal after trying to make a clearance, but Simone Pepe's shot was blocked as the goalkeeper tried to get back.

The goal would have been enough to qualify the Italians, who came into South Africa downplaying the importance of the Confederations Cup.

"We knew," Lippi said. "We tried but we didn't make it."

Lippi made four changes to his team after the upset loss to Egypt on Thursday. He added Giuseppe Rossi and Alberto Gilardino during the match to try to spark the team's offense, but Brazil's defense remained in control.


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