American-born Giuseppe Rossi, who left New Jersey for an Italian team in Parma when he was 12, scored two goals as Italy beat the U.S., 3-1, in a FIFA Confederations Cup game in South Africa. The explosive play by both sides caused fans to rock the sports complex in Pretoria.
Rossi, a powerful striker with joint American-Italian citizenship, fired a spectacular long-range goal in the 59th minute, just a minute after entering as a sub, to tie the score. The U.S. had gone ahead in the 41st minute courtesy of a Landon Donovan penalty kick. The penalty was the result of Giorgio Chiellini tackling Jozy Altidore to the ground.
Midfielder Daniel de Rossi gave Italy the lead for good when he made an easy goal in the 72nd minute. Rossi's second goal of the game in stoppage time made the final 3-1. American goalkeeper Tim Howard did his best, but it did not help that that U.S. played shorthanded from the 33rd minute after Ricardo Clark was red carded.
After the game, two players from each side exchanged shirts, a soccer tradition. For our fashion-conscious gay men, the Italian team was seen wearing replica kits of the 1934 World Cup, with sky blue tops and brown-burgundy shorts and stockings.
Italy plays Egypt on Saturday, while the USA team plays Brazil on Thursday.