USA Jobbed in Draw with Italy
Team USA tied Italy 1-1 in the World Cup earlier this afternoon. Italy is one of the great soccer nations and a draw to get 1 point is objectively a great result for the US Squad. However, the US actually seriously outplayed Italy in the first half and clearly deserved the win.
Unfortunately, at the end of the first half the referee took over the game, robbed the US on 3 key decisions and quickly created one of the worst officiated soccer matches I've ever seen. First Pablo Mastroeni was sent off in the 45th minute and then Eddie Pope was sent off in the 47th minute reducing the USA to just nine men. Both of the red cards were absolutely ridiculous. Fouls maybe but certainly not card and Pope even got the ball. Fortunately, Italy's Daniele De Ross had previously been sent off for a nasty elbow to Brian McBride face but whereas the US should have been up a man they found themselves playing with 9 vs. Italy's 10.
Despite the disadvantage US continued to play well and 65th minute DeMarcus Beasely found the back of the net and the US appeared to have taken the lead. However, Brian McBride, who was not involved in the play, was flagged for offsides. McBride clearly was offsides and from such a position is not allowed to participate in the play but the referee's assertion that he obstructed the view of the goal keeper was weak at best and I've seen far far more obstruction from players in offsides positions that did not lead to offsides calls. It should have been a goal. Later in the match Team USA clearly tired and Italy had several scoring opportunities but it still remains one of the best match performances I've ever seen the US put in.
Moving forward, a win over Ghana and an Italian victory over the Czechs will put the US team through to the next round. Technically, a victory over Ghana by more than 4 goals could put the team through on goal difference regardless of the Italy - Czech result but I wouldn't pin much hope on that scenario.