It was a case of what might have been for Jonathan Spector and the United States at the FIFA Confederations Cup on Monday night.
The West Ham United defender turned in a solid display at right-back against the world champions but two goals from New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi either side of a Daniele De Rossi long-range strike turned the tide in the Azzurri's favour. The US had opened the scoring just before half-time from Landon Donovan's penalty after their early domination was cut short when they were reduced to ten men with a harsh sending off for Ricardo Clark.
Rossi, a former Manchester United team-mate of Spector's, levelled matters on the hour before Roma midfielder De Rossi gave the European side the lead in Pretoria. The match was wrapped up at the death with Rossi's sublime strike from Andrea Pirlo's pass to leave Italy riding high at the top of Group B. The US will hope for better on Thursday against Brazil, when a defeat and Italy win against Egypt would mean early elimination.