The big story from the tied 2-2 U.S. vs. Slovenia game Friday wasn’t the easy goals Slovenia got on keeper Tim Howard. It wasn’t the amazing comeback in the second half that brought the United States from zero to tied at two. It was a single call.
The game began with Slovanian’s Valter Birsa scoring goal one 13 minutes into the match, shooting the ball from more than 20 yards past Howard’s left side. The Americans tried their best to catch up but failed to score.
Just as the U.S. team was prepped to go into halftime one point behind its opponent, Slovenia’s Zlatan Ljubijankic scored its second and final goal of the game with three minutes left in the half.
The second half of the game brought out a new side to the Americans. They took control of the ball and the score when Landon Donovan scored three minutes into the second half.
It was starting to look bleak, as no progress was being made for the U.S. until there were eight minutes left in the match, when Michael Bradley scored what was technically the final goal of the game.
The real story began when U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu got the ball into the net for what should have been a game winning third goal for the Americans. But the celebration of victory was cut short when Mali referee Koman Coulibaly ruled out the goal, ending the game with a tie.
Anyone watching the game could tell the call was a bad one, including the commentators, and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association is listening to the complaints. Coulibaly is being investigated by FIFA and it’s likely he won’t be involved with the rest of the Cup.
In fact, he is not scheduled to be anywhere near a soccer field for the next few games. Whether this is some sort of unofficial punishment handed down from the higher ups of FIFA is unknown, but he could very well be back on the field before the end of the Cup.
Other games this weekend were hardly as eventful, but some were almost as controversial. In the Germany-Serbia game, what some thought was a bad call caused one of Germany’s top players, Miroslav Klose, to get a red card, which got him out of the game and helped underdog Serbia win 1-0.
The England-Algerian match helped keep America’s hopes up as it too, ended in a tie. Since it was a no-score game, it keeps the U.S. as hopefuls to make it out its group play bracket and into the top 16.
Next, the Americans are facing Algeria. This is Algeria’s third World Cup appearance—six less than the Americans; however, they don’t have any Cup wins to back them up. Its record in the current Cup should keep the U.S. hopeful. They lost 1-0 to Slovenia, who the Americans proved they could hold their own against Friday, while Algeria tied England in a no-score game. Be sure to tune in to what promises to be a fun game Wednesday, June 23 at 2 p.m.