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In brief: U.S. can’t hold off Brazil in Cup final

Felipe Melo, left, and Elano celebrate the Confederations Cup win. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Felipe Melo, left, and Elano celebrate the Confederations Cup win. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Soccer: Brazil picked up the pace just in time Sunday, waking up from a slow start to beat the United States 3-2 at Johannesburg and win its second consecutive Confederations Cup title.

Brazil had been held to a 1-0 victory over host South Africa in the semifinals three days earlier, and it looked as though its attack was headed for another disappointing performance against the United States until it finally got things going in the second half.

“We were able to correct our positioning and that allowed us to pressure our opponent a little more in the second half,” Brazil coach Dunga said. “The U.S. was able to score after we made mistakes on the back.”

Brazil controlled possession after conceding a goal just 10 minutes into the match at Ellis Park, but couldn’t find ways to get past the American defense. It pressured even more after going two goals down in the 27th, but still without success.

After halftime, Brazil started to move the ball better and was able to use the flanks more often. Dunga put in midfielder Elano and right back Daniel Alves.

“We made some changes and things improved,” Dunga said. “We gained more control and more speed.”

Sounders break Colorado’s win streak: Nate Jaqua had two second-half goals and Fredy Montero scored for the fourth straight game, helping the Seattle Sounders end the Colorado Rapids’ franchise-record unbeaten streak at eight games with a 3-0 victory in Seattle.

Goalkeeper Kasey Keller had his fifth shutout for Seattle (6-3-7), which hasn’t lost in four games and stayed ahead of the Rapids (5-3-6) for third place in the Western Conference. Colorado had five ties during its streak.

Jaqua’s six goals are second on the Sounders to Montero, who moved into a tie for the second-most goals in MLS with eight and added two assists.

Perry untouchable

Golf: Kenny Perry shot 63 Sunday to finish with a tournament-record 258 and win the Travelers Championship at Cromwell, Conn., by three strokes over Paul Goydos and David Toms.

Perry, 48, who led after each of the first two rounds, trailed by a stroke to Paul Goydos heading into Sunday.

But he shot 32 on the front nine and was up by five strokes heading to the par-4 15th.

Goydos made a 20-foot eagle putt from the fringe on 15 and birdied 16. But he missed his birdie putt on 17 to the right.

Perry birdied 15, and put the tournament away by making birdie on 17 after hitting a 164 yard approach to within 8 feet.

Shin wins Wegmans LPGA by 7 strokes: At Rochester, N.Y., South Korea’s Jiyai Shin picked up her fifth title in 11 months with a seven-stroke victory at the Wegmans LPGA.

The 21-year-old star from Seoul shot a 1-under 71 to finish in a downpour at 17-under 271.

Wendy Ward finished 13 back with a 284.

Nielsen rallies: At Endicott, N.Y., Lonnie Nielsen shot a 9-under 63, vaulting past second-round leader Fred Funk with an impressive five-hole flourish at the start, and won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open by three shots over Funk and Ronnie Black.

Sparks down Storm

Basketball: Marie Ferdinand-Harris scored a season-high 15 points to lift the short-handed Sparks to a 82-55 victory against the Seattle Storm in Los Angeles.

Playing their third game without injured three-time league MVP Lisa Leslie, five players scored in double-figure for Sparks (3-5).

Lauren Jackson was held to nine points on 3-of-10 shooting for Seattle (6-3). Camille Little also had nine points for the Storm, who didn’t have a single player score in double digits.

Dixon wins fourth

Drag racing: At Norfolk, Ohio, Larry Dixon earned his fourth Top Fuel victory of the season at the NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.

Jack Beckman took the Funny Car title, Jason Line won the Pro Stock and Andrew Hines raced to a win in Pro Stock Motorcycle.


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