Sixty thousand-plus enthusiasts will descend on Ellis Park tomorrow. Some will be there in support of USA, some Brazil, while others, neutrals, will be there simply to revel in a charming, infectious atmosphere, to blow their vuvuzelas and enjoy what promises to be a fitting conclusion to a memorable FIFA Confederations Cup.
After 90 minutes - or perhaps extra time or penalties - either a new name will be inscribed on the trophy, or Brazil will surpass France and become the outright record winners of the competition.
Ellis Park, Johannesburg, 28 June, 20:30 (local time)
USA and Brazil may be situated on the Americas, but they are worlds apart in terms of tradition and success in the game. Futebol is deeply ingrained in life and culture in the latter, and A Seleção have won an unprecedented five FIFA World Cups™. Soccer is still an emerging sport in the US, whose men's team are yet to lift a global trophy.
Boasting the likes of Maicon, Kaka, Robinho and Luis Fabiano, it came as little surprise that Brazil inflicted a 3-0 defeat on a USA side whose biggest name, Landon Donovan, plays his club football in his homeland. Much, however, has changed in the short time since.
USA overwhelmed an on-form Egypt to snatch a place in the last four, before inflicting a first defeat in 36 games on tournament favourites Spain. Meantime, a Brazil team that had been exciting and ruthlessly effective en route to the semi-finals laboured against South Africa, squeezing through courtesy of substitute Daniel Alves's late free-kick. Consequently, Dunga and Bob Bradley foresee a very different reunion as the neutrals anticipate a thrilling conclusion to this wonderful tournament.
Landon Donovan vs. Kaka
The pair, their respective side's major celebrities, have radiated without reaching their scintillating best so far in South Africa. Both are quick, direct dribblers with a penchant for scoring goals, and could turn this game with one flash of brilliance.
The American fans were counting down the seconds. A solitary goal from Carlos Bocanegra, their current captain, had them on the verge of a place in the final. However, Kaka's 89th-minute equaliser, the first USA had conceded in 600 minutes, since Adriano's goal earned Brazil a 1-0 success in a FIFA Confederations Cup game one month earlier, took the content into extra time, in which it was settled by a Diego penalty.
200 - The number of victories Brazil moved on to in FIFA men's competitions by beating South Africa 1-0. During these, they have achieved a win-rate of over 65 per cent in 61 tournaments and slightly more than 300 matches.
Did you know?
USA's record appearant Cobi Jones had a short spell with Brazilian side Vasco da Gama in 1996. Brazil's all-time leading marksman Pele spent three seasons at New York Cosmos, helping them win the North American Soccer League title in 1977.
"We've achieved great results in the past, but have never won a competition of this importance. To win a tournament that included Brazil, Spain, Italy and Egypt would be amazing for us, and would give us a lot of confidence to return to South Africa for the World Cup," USA coach Bob Bradley.
"USA are a great side. Just because we've already beaten them this tournament doesn't mean we'll do it again. They played very well against Spain. It will be a different game and we know we'll have to work very hard," Brazil forward Robinho.
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