Some Brazilian brilliance and the tournament's first major upset ensured South Africa 2009's fourth matchday was one to savour. As the dust settles, FIFA.com and Castrol Insights look closer at numbers behind the results.
Brazil's love affair with the FIFA Confederations Cup continues. The most successful and prolific side in this competition's history, A Seleção continue to delight, with today's victory over USA the seventh of their 15 tournament wins to have been achieved by a margin of at least three goals. Dunga's on-song side registered no fewer than 23 goalscoring attempts against the beleaguered Americans, and their tournament tally of 19 efforts on target leaves them comfortably clear of nearest challengers South Africa (16) and Spain (15). At the other end of the scale, Iraq have worked the opposition goalkeeper just twice.
Namesakes Zidan, Aboutrika and Homos may hog the headlines, but Mohamed Shawky's tigerish tackling has been every bit as vital to Egypt's impressive performances. Even before facing Italy, Shawky had made more challenges than anyone in the tournament except Sibonsio Gaxa, and another key intervention against Gli Azzurri took him on to seven overall and beyond his South African counterpart as the tournament's top tackler.
Earlier in the day, the battle for Brazil's right-back berth took an intriguing twist. Daniel Alves looked to have made the position his own with an energetic and enterprising display in the 4-3 win over Egypt, but the watching Maicon had clearly decided that 'anything you can do...' The Inter Milan star's response was a performance that brought him a goal, an assist and the Budweiser Man of the Match award. Yet the story doesn't end there. With Daniel Alves having covered more ground, played more passes and achieved a better success rate with his crosses (67 per cent to 40 per cent), Dunga faces a genuine dilemma.
Finally, spare a thought for Tim Howard. The fact that he has picked the ball out of his net six times already would suggest the USA No1 has been out of sorts at South Africa 2009. In fact, Howard has pulled off more saves than any of his counterparts, making 17 stops - six more than the next-busiest keeper, New Zealand's Glen Moss. In stark contrast to Howard, South Africa's Itumeleng Khune boasts a couple of clean sheets, yet has been called upon to make just two saves.
Brazil's second goal against USA was a devastating example of counter-attacking at its best. For DaMarcus Beasley, it was also a reminder of the price that can be paid for a lapse in concentration at this level. The USA winger might have thought that there was ample time to recover when he allowed a short corner to slip under his left boot, but within 13 seconds, the ball was in his own net. It was a costly mistake from a player who endured an afternoon to forget, finding a team-mate with just nine of his 16 passes (56 per cent) before being substituted at half-time.
Did you know?
Hassan Shehata celebrates his 62nd birthday tomorrow, and the veteran Egypt coach can toast the occasion in the knowledge that his side made history this evening. No African team had ever beaten Italy before Egypt brought Gli Azzurri's run of 12 wins and two draws against sides from the mother continent came to a sudden and dramatic halt.