My plan today was to DVR the USA-Slovenia match, avoid all forms of media, and then watch it when I got home after the game. That idea went out the window when the game was on the scoreboard at Busch Stadium while I worked with a young baseball team. There was no audio and it was hard to follow, but I got to watch it nonetheless. I’m about to watch the replay so I can get a better idea of what went down but I’m still going to write a post about the game.
The first thing that I want to mention is the horrid marking that occurred Slovenia’s first goal. Valter Birsa had days to line up his fantastic strike from just outside the penalty area. Michael Bradley had stepped up to take away the initial ball carrier when he laid it off to Birsa. From there, I don’t know where Jose Torres was and I don’t know why Oguchi Onyewu didn’t step up and at least act like he was putting pressure on the ball. Birsa punished them for their terrible marking.
The second Slovenian goal was really just a nice play. Zlatan Ljubijankic just beat the American offside trap against the run of play and put it in. It happens. You never want to see your team get scored on, but that was a nice goal.
The US really outplayed Slovenia for most of the game. Landon Donovan could have had a goal in the first half. Robbie Findley had a few chances, Michael Bradley almost put one in. Then the second half was all USA. We deserved to win this game…
…which brings me to my next point. The refereeing was atrocious and inexcusable. Koman Coulibaly is from Mali and has a knack for giving puzzling decisions in crucial situations. His horrific call against Maurice Edu in the 86th minute nullified a USA victory and changed the course of the tournament. In my opinion, he should not referee another minute in this World Cup. That’s how bad it was. Shockingly bad.
At least one person disagrees with me and that’s Slovenian defender Marko Suler.
“They were pushing and holding all the time,” Suler said. “You could see it was a foul and it was the correct decision. They did not deserve to win the game. It would not have been the correct result. We were the better team.”
Suler wasn’t watching the same game I was. Or he’s on drugs. Or he’s truly that dumb. The Slovenians had maybe two attempts on goal in the second half and none of them threatened Tom Howard’s net. The US dominated this game overall and deserved to win.
With England’s 0-0 tie against Algeria, all the US has to do is beat the North African squad next Wednesday to secure a spot in the next round. That’s certainly realistic possibility. If not, I want Koman Coulibaly’s refereeing license revoked for good.