JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - The United States have pulled off one massive upset and are plotting another on Sunday when they look for payback against defending champions Brazil in the Confederations Cup final.
Bob Bradley's men stunned European champions Spain in their semi-final for a famous 2-0 victory by effectively closing down dangerman Xavi and will be keen to keep Kaka under wraps in the same way.
In contrast, Brazil struggled to get past a determined South Africa, needing a Daniel Alves free-kick two minutes from time to break the deadlock and stay alive to defend their title.
Four years ago in Germany, Brazil won the tournament by beating Argentina 4-1 but if the USA play as they did against Spain it could be a much closer affair this year.
A key factor working in the Americans' favour is that they are learning to believe in themselves.
"What we're learning is how to move forward as a team, making sure as a team we're organised. But that is not enough, we have to be able to move ball, create chances, get goals," Bradley said.
"It's not one thing, it's a package. In the last year more and more of our players have realised that if you can put that together then you can compete with the best teams. It's a constant evolution."
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was instrumental in helping his team upset Spain, knows they go into Sunday's game as rank underdogs but said it did not bother them.
"We're always going to be underdogs," he said.
"But we have shown that when we come together and do our best, we can do great things. We may not be the biggest or best-known players in the world, but when we come together it's not about that."
Brazil beat the United States 3-0 during the group stages and that is motivation enough for American captain Carlos Bocenegra.
"We almost gave them too much respect and sat back too much," he said.
"It's important to start the game with a lot of energy - we can't sit back and let Brazil control the match."
It will be a bitter-sweet day for Bradley, whose son Michael will miss the game after a straight red card for a lunging tackle in the Spain match.
Otherwise, he has a full complement of players to choose from.
Brazil coach Dunga, whose team have had a day less to recover, is respectful of the United States after their giant-killing semi-final exploits.
"We are anxious as the game approaches which is normal," he said Saturday.
"The US are tactically very strong and dangerous on the counter-attack and raise a lot of difficulties because they can sustain it over 90 minutes.
"They are complicated adversaries.
"We'll try to apply our normal rhythm, keep possession as long as possible and make the best use of our territorial play."
Alves admitted that the USA win had taught his side a lesson.
"In a tournament like this, every team will have their chances," he said.
"Spain's game served as a lesson for us before we took on South Africa, and it will also serve as a lesson for us ahead of Sunday's final."
Despite having seen his side struggle to unlock South Africa, Dunga is expected to send out much the same team with Luis Fabiano up front and Kaka and Robinho tucked in behind him.
With Lucio, Maicon, Luisao and Andre Santos holding the back line and Felipe Melo, Ramires and Gilberto Silva operating in midfield the United States will have their work cut out.
Bradley will once again be heavily reliant on experienced LA Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan controlling the game in the middle, while Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore will need to make the most of any chances that come their way
|Coach: B. Bradley|
for B. Feilhaber 75'
for J. Altidore 75'
for R. Clark 88'
|Ronaldo back in training for Madrid|
|Barcelona confirm Bravo calf injury|
|Aulas brands Ligue 1 ´championship of Qatar´|
|Leicester City at Manchester United: Aiming for Hollywood ending to title push|
|I can start for England at Euro 2016 - Sturridge|
|Dybala never doubted Juventus|
|Aguero celebrates brother´s Independiente debut|
|Sturridge rounds on critics, plays down Klopp rift|
|Adelaide United 3 Western Sydney Wanderers 1: Reds seal maiden A-League title|
|Eriksson: Simeone is an example to follow|
|´Where am I?´ - Lovren reveals travel struggles|
|´If I have to leave Bayern, then I will´ - Benatia|
|Walker ´over the moon´ after Pochettino agrees new deal|
|MLS Review: Villa leads City, Impact held|
|We´d probably be relegated without Defoe – Allardyce|
|Koeman: Leicester will do well in Champions League|
|Ronaldo needs rest or could miss Euros - doctor|
|United shaped me as a player - Schlupp|
|Sanchez, Vidal lead Chile´s Copa squad|
|Arsenal´s patience paid off - Cech|
|I will know Madrid´s plans - Pellegrini|
|Granada 3 Las Palmas 2: Superb comeback boosts hosts´ survival hopes|
|Martinez pleased with impact of new faces|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon, Monaco continue fight for second|
|Serie A Review: Fiorentina frustrated, Torino hit five|
|Barca keeper Bravo set for tests on calf strain|
|Barca will not rely on rivals slipping up - Luis Enrique|
|Simeone: I am not a fortune teller|
|Neil defiant in defeat|
|Real Betis 0 Barcelona 2: Rakitic and Suarez edge champions back ahead in title race|
|´Protests more like disappointed love´ - Wenger sorry he cannot keep Arsenal fans happy|
|Bundesliga Review: Monchengladbach and Dortmund delay Bayern´s title party|
|Arsenal should be doing better, concedes match-winner Welbeck|
|Black wants Villa display to build bridges|
|Tuchel: Hummels abuse went too far|
|Flores laments mixed Hornets performance|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic made to wait by Aberdeen|
|Ribery a doubt for Bayern´s crunch Atletico clash|
|Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0: Substitute Welbeck boosts under-fire Wenger|
|Allardyce rues Sunderland nerves after Stoke draw|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Rayo Vallecano 0: Griezmann maintains title momentum|
|Benitez salutes Newcastle ´heroes´ Townsend and Darlow|
|Hughes disappointed by Sunderland penalty call|
|Football League Review: Wigan confirm promotion to Championship|
|Bilic confident of Europe after West Brom win|
|Howe defends players´ efforts after form slump|
|Bale can match Ronaldo´s run - Zidane|
|Watford poor in Villa win, concedes Deeney|
|Hummels slams ´nonsense´ claims over Bayern request|
|Zidane hopeful on Ronaldo, Benzema as Madrid give backing to medics|
|Pardew rues Cabaye penalty miss in defeat to Newcastle|
|West Brom did not get the breaks - Pulis|
|Fan protests of no concern to Martinez|
|Ramos urges Real Madrid to ´fight to the end´|
|Defoe: You haven´t got a choice, I had to score|
|Watford 3 Aston Villa 2: Late Deeney double sinks Villa|
|Stoke City 1 Sunderland 1: Defoe snatches point but Allardyce´s men slip into bottom three|
|Real Sociedad 0 Real Madrid 1: Late Bale winner keeps title challenge alive|
|West Brom 0 West Ham 3: Noble brace boosts European hopes|
|Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0: Townsend, Darlow heroics boost Benitez|
|Everton 2 AFC Bournemouth 1: Baines strike eases pressure on Martinez|
|Leno to stay at Leverkusen after buyout clause expires|
|Bayern Munich 1 Borussia Monchengladbach 1: Hahn puts title celebrations on hold|
|Borussia Dortmund 5 Wolfsburg 1: Fans round on Hummels but title hopes remain|
|Watzke won´t give up on keeping Hummels|
|Pepe tips Zidane to become top coach|
|Allegri and Mancini laud Ranieri´s Leicester heroics|
|Allegri still hopes to keep Morata at Juventus|
|Mancini praises ´top-quality´ Banega|
|´Even Guardiola needed time´ - Brocchi has no regrets over taking AC Milan role|
|Willian desperate for next season to arrive|
|Mancini: Inter season not a disaster|
|Chelsea v Tottenham: Pochettino hopes derby motivation keeps title chase alive|
|Crotone not Italy´s Leicester, says director Ursino|
|Klopp: Flanagan still faces fitness battle|
|Manchester United v Leicester City: Ranieri aiming for Hollywood ending to title push|
|Hummels to Bayern is the logical deal - Hitzfeld|
|Shaw pushing for United comeback this season|
|Sportiello ´proud´ to be linked with Napoli|
|Arsenal must change to end title drought - Cazorla|
|Tete can´t confirm Bayern interest|
|Montero, Valencia set for Copa America Centenario|
|Vardy, Mahrez more important than Leicester´s defence - Martinez|
|Pellegrini blasts ´unbelievable´ Premier League fixtures|
|Standard Liege terminate Valdes´ loan deal|
|Hiddink: Leicester will not disappear|
|Mata: Leicester can wait a week|
|Pizarro, Farfan not included in Peru´s 40-man Copa squad|
|Wenger: My loyalty helped build Emirates|
|Pochettino eyes Ferguson legacy at Tottenham|
|Thompson to leave Melbourne Victory|
|New York Red Bulls 4 FC Dallas 0: Hosts make it two in a row|
|Blanc hails ´motivated and disciplined´ PSG|
|Van Gaal: Easier for Leicester to sign players than United|
|No shocks as Paraguay announce provisional Copa squad|
|Suarez headlines Uruguay´s Copa America squad|
|Sturridge reveals he is ´not Liverpool for life´ and hopes to match Suarez success|
|David Luiz, Silva and Marcelo absent from Brazil´s preliminary Copa America squad|
|Augsburg 0 Cologne 0: Weinzierl´s men edge closer to survival|
|Sporting Gijon 2 Eibar 0: Hosts boost survival hopes|
|Klopp has no regrets over Sturridge snub|
|Birmingham City 2 Middlesbrough 2: Karanka´s men left to rue Davis volley|
|Sterling can make the difference for City, insists Pellegrini|
|Paris Saint-Germain 4 Rennes 0: Blanc´s men equal Ligue 1 points record|
|Juventus complete permanent Lemina capture|
|Lazio v Inter: Melo working hard for Brazil recall|
|AC Milan v Frosinone: Galliani insists Honda will stay|
|Pochettino still believes Tottenham can win Premier League|
|Manchester United v Leicester City: Ranieri aiming for Hollywood ending to title push|
|Juventus v Carpi: Pogba already eyeing further titles|
|Mahrez fled St Mirren trial on a bike due to ´abusive´ Scottish weather|
|United cannot allow Leicester to claim title at Old Trafford – Van Gaal|
|Simeone confident Saul will stay at Atleti|
|Stendel handed Hannover deal despite relegation|
|Hughes: I will not encourage Everton rumours|
|Swansea City v Liverpool: Focused Klopp puts Villarreal on the back-burner|
|Allardyce mind games will not make a difference – Benitez|
|Statistics disprove Wenger´s away-day champions claim|
|Pochettino defends Alli after punch ´mistake´|
|Koeman hints at Southampton extension|
|Southampton v Manchester City: Pellegrini eyes Premier League momentum|
|Ranieri: This is history, but I am not nervous|
|Chelsea skipper Terry to return for Tottenham clash|
|City fume at Premier League fixtures|
|Totti to Barca? Why not!? - Luis Enrique|
|Klopp hits out at Swansea scheduling|
|Guardiola talks up Germany centre-half - but it´s not Mats Hummels|
|Pellegrini concern over Toure fitness|
|Pochettino verbally agrees new contract|
|Tuchel happy for Hummels to remain Dortmund captain|
|Luis Enrique unconcerned about playing after Real and Atletico|
|Zidane demands Sociedad focus|
|Robben not out for the season|
|Capello: Determination key to Simeone success|
|Weakening Bundesliga rivals is Bayern´s philosophy - Thon|
|Madrid refusing to rule Ronaldo out of City clash|
|Redknapp takes Central Coast Mariners consultancy job|
|Rashford reminds me of Van Basten - Merson|
|Wenger blames Emirates atmosphere for Arsenal title slump|
|O´Neill compares ´extraordinary´ Leicester to Clough´s Forest|
|Zamparini sanctioned for Infantino comments|
|´It was this year or never´ - Mahrez on Leicester´s title tilt|
|Allardyce hails ´mini-miracle´ transfer window|
|Howe not celebrating survival just yet|
|Hummels has ´behaved impeccably´, says Watzke|
|Keeping Koeman must be Saints´ ´number one priority´ - Le Tissier|
|Pogba: I want to be better than Pele and Maradona|
|Wenger rounds on Arsenal critics|
|Platini optimistic as CAS hearing begins|
|Dembele still believes Tottenham can lift title|
|Le Saux hails ruthless Ranieri|
|Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers: Heartache to end for one as quest for first championship|
|Torres tight-lipped on Atletico future|
|Martinez has no guarantees over Everton future|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Independiente stun defending champions, Tevez leads Boca|
|Bilic backs video technology|
|Olsen: Faroe Islands inspired Leicester´s title bid|
|Herrera: United don´t want Leicester to win title at Old Trafford|
|Hart out to erase painful Bernabeu memories|
|Perisic: Liverpool and Chelsea should talk to Inter|
|Allardyce doubts Palace focus ahead of Newcastle trip|
|Weah to run for president of Liberia|
|Klopp warns Villarreal Europa League tie is not over|
|Pique: Losing La Liga would be a failure|
|Villarreal were not lucky to beat Liverpool - Marcelino|
|Lucescu: Shakhtar still believe in final|
|Emery insists Sevilla not there yet|
|Toure and Mignolet confident of Liverpool turnaround|