Former Furman soccer standout Clint Dempsey tallied his second goal in as many matches and former Paladin midfielder Ricardo Clark helped the United States National Team record its second consecutive clean sheet as the U.S. ended top-ranked Spain’s 35-match unbeaten streak and advanced to the finals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup with a 2-0 victory on Wednesday in South Africa.The United States advances to the finals to face the winner of tomorrow’s second semifinal match between South Africa and Brazil . The Confederations Cup final is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday and will be televised live on ESPN.
With the United States holding onto a 1-0 lead in the 74th minute, Dempsey deposited a loose ball past Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas after a cross from Landon Donovan to complete the USA’s shocking run to the tournament final and end Spain’s international-record winning streak at 15 matches.
Dempsey, who earned all-america honors at Furman and currently plays for Fulham of the English premier League, also scored in the USA’s 3-0 victory over Egypt on Sunday that allowed the Americans to advance to the semifinals on goals scored after tying Italy and Egypt for second in the four-team group.
Clark, who also earned 2002 all-america honors while helping Furman to a 19-3-1 record and NCAA round of 16 appearance, anchored the United States’ defense making several key second half tackles and sliding stops to hold Spain scoreless.
The former Paladins, who have teamed with each other in the United States midfield throughout the last couple of years, helped Furman to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and Southern Conference championships in 2001 and 2002.