USA pulled off the greatest escape in FIFA Confederations Cup history, while Italy were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by Dunga's scintillating Seleção. As the dust settles on arguably the most dramatic night the Festival of Champions has ever seen, FIFA.com looks closer at numbers behind the results.
Azzurri fans, look away now. Rarely have this proud football nation suffered such a humbling or historic loss, with Marcello Lippi's side utterly outclassed in a one-sided match destined to live on in Italian football infamy. Over 52 years had passed since the Italians last conceded three first half goals - in a 6-1 away defeat to Yugoslavia - yet in truth Brazil could easily have surpassed this tally but for the woodwork and some alert goalkeeping from Gianluigi Buffon. Italy's South Africa 2009 campaign duly ended with a whimper as they became only the second reigning world champions in FIFA Confederations Cup history - the first being Brazil in 2003 - to exit after the group stage.
USA, meanwhile, wrote their very own football fairy tale, qualifying for the semi-finals on an evening that had begun with them anchored to the foot of Group B with no points and a goal difference of minus-five. In matching Brazil's margin of victory against Italy, Bob Bradley's side also ended a five-game winless run at the FIFA Confederations Cup and eclipsed their heroics of ten years ago, when a 2-0 win over Germany sealed their most recent appearance in the competition's semi-finals. Egypt, meanwhile, paid the price for surrendering their title as the Group B's top passers, with their success rate plummeting to 73 per cent from 88 and 82.7 per cent against Brazil and Italy respectively.
This was always going to be a night to remember for Fabio Cannavaro as the Italy captain drew level with Paolo Maldini's record 126-cap tally. As it transpired, the landmark occasion will be remembered by the former FIFA World Player of the Year for witnessing all his footballing nightmares coming true at once. During eight devastating first half minutes, Cannavaro found himself cast as an admiring bystander as Brazil carved open the Italian defence at will to score a trio of thoroughly deserved goals.
The first two came from Luis Fabiano, who strengthened his grip on the Seleção No9 shirt and joined Messrs Torres and Villa at the top of the tournament's scoring charts with his fifth and sixth goals in just six international appearances this year. Elsewhere, Gilberto Silva - so often Brazil's unsung hero - again underpinned the Seleção's success by finding team-mates with all 24 of his medium-range passes.
In Rustenburg, American heroes were in plentiful supply, and although Clint Dempsey was a worthy Budweiser Man of the Match, Michael Bradley could just have easily have taken the award. The US midfielder seemed to cover every blade of grass in a match that witnessed him run 12.714 kilometres and hit the target with all three of his efforts on goal, one of which brought his side's second goal.
In football, scorelines so often fail to represent the overall pattern of the match. Not at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. There, Brazil's three-goal half-time lead reflected perfectly a match in which the South Americans had registered six shots on goal to Italy's none and struck the woodwork on two further occasions.
Did you know?
The green shirt sported by Julio Cesar against Italy is the third different-coloured kit he has worn in as many matches at South Africa 2009. The Brazil goalkeeper turned out in all grey against Egypt and switched to all black for the 3-0 win over USA.