Friday, June 18, 2010

Bad call by ref could be the difference between advancing and going home

You tell yourself that in sports sometimes the referee or umpire makes a bad call, but when one of those bad calls goes against your national team in the World Cup and costs them the winning goal, it's hard to swallow.

The USA fought back from 2-0 down against Slovenia at the half. Goals from Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley brought us level. Then a free kick was awarded for a foul on Cherundolo. Maurice Edu got a head on it in the box and scored what should have been our go-ahead goal to give us 4 points and sitting on top of Group C. But for some bizarre and inexplicable reason, the ref had blown his whistle before the goal was scored, presumably for a foul committed by a US player. Replays show that the only fouls being committed were against the US.

So we have to settle for a draw and 2 points from our opening two matches. Assuming England defeats Algeria tonight, the US must then defeat Algeria next Wednesday by at least 2 goals to guarantee a spot in the next round.

The real question is why the US starts every match so damn nervous that we concede an early goal. We completely owned Slovenia from about the 35th minute onward, but especially in the second half.

It's just very frustrating. Still, I would never agree with allowing instant replay in soccer.

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