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FIFA Confederations Cup

6 days to go: Mphela’s strike stuns Casillas


Katlego Mphela lined up a free-kick in the final seconds of normal time in the third-place play-off at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and smashed it into the top corner, his *sixth *goal for Bafana Bafana.

The striker did not appear in the group stages of his home tournament and only came on in the last few minutes of the semi-final defeat to Brazil, so the match against Spain was undoubtedly his finest hour.

South Africa had lost 2-0 to *La Furia Roja *in the group phase, but it was a much closer encounter this time. Coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute, Mphela broke the deadlock nine minutes later when he lashed a cross home. In a dramatic finish to the game, it looked as if Spain had snatched victory after a brace from Daniel Guiza, but in the third minute of additional time Mphela stunned Iker Casillas from 25 yards and took it to extra time.

It was another free kick by Xabi Alonso that settled matters for the European champions in the 107th minute, but the hosts took away a lot of credit for their competitive display.

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