Jun 18

Stayin' Alive!

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Photo: FIFA

WORLD CUP - GROUP C. The United States rallied from down 2-0 to get two second half goals to force a draw with Slovenia, and thus stay alive in the World Cup. On one hand, the good news is that the US is still alive and will simply need to beat the fourth seed in the group. On the other hand, my stomach is turning over what might have been due to some questionable happenings in this match...The World Cup is getting hot!

I will make my point early: this game was controversial. I saw it with my own eyes, and the announcers were in complete agreement. The head referee in this game was one-sided to the point that it was absurd. Americans were stripped of the winning goal at the 85 minute mark, and could have had at least two penalty shots that were not awarded. In one word, it was terrible.

One announcer - an Englishman - said it was the worst officiating he had ever seen in a World Cup match. And I hate to harp on officials, but when they are the factor in the game, it makes my blood boil...

At the 85-minute mark, the USA scored on a free kick, but a foul was called taking the goal back. On multiple replays, the play did indeed have several fouls - ALL AGAINST SLOVENIA!!!! It was horribly amazing and kept the Americans from getting three points (for a win, one for a tie). Instead they get just one point. It was really big.

The Americans gave up two early goals. The first came at the 13-minute mark and the second came at the 42-minute mark. That 2-0 score went into the locker room. This put the pressure on the US for the entire second half - but they responded.

It is their own fault they dug the hole, but they dug out of it (or at least back to ground level). Landon Donovan scored early in the half, and then Michael Bradley scored off of the bench to even things up with 10 minutes to play. With all of the momentum, the US then pounded home the aforementioned set goal only to have the ref take it away. 

And these Slovenian guys must be drinking some kind of Eastern European nitro-water or something. These dudes were all like 6'4" and throwing elbows and powerknees and straight up wrestling. If an American got near the box, he was going down. Period. Slovenia plays defensive soccer and they have some beasts to do it with. I was impressed with the US being physical right back. It was an ugly game to say the least between the crappy refs and the players getting tackled every time daylight opened up.

For American soccer fans, mixed feelings abound. A draw in this game kept us alive. So that is good as a loss would have made our June 23rd game meaningless. A win however (which we %$^**$ got), would have us in super awesome position with one game left. Now, I am thinking we will most-likely have to win our final game against Algeria to move through.

Algeria is the fourth seed in Group C, so we will be expected to win. However, if the US continues to give up early goals and plays with stress the whole game, our chances will be slim. All in all, we are in ok position, Win against Algeria, and we will most-likely advance. That is all we can hope for right now. We will know more after England and Algeria play at 2:00...

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