Connect with us

Leagues: MLS

USA Stuns Slovenia With Comeback, But Undone by Poor Ref Decision

June 18, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Slovenia v United States of America FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group C - Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa - 18/6/10..USA's Jozy Altindore (2nd L) confronts referee Koman Coulibaly (C) at the final whistle.

What an incredible game today at Ellis Park in South Africa between Slovenia and the United States. In a match that was a game of two halves for the United States, the Americans looked so poor in the first half but looked so dangerous in the second half. For the sake of US soccer fans, let’s hope they’ll play like they did in the second half for the rest of the tournament.

Going into this game, we knew that the game against Slovenia would be a true test. This would be the opportunity for the United States to make a statement to the world that they need to be taken seriously. But what an awful first half performance it was. Robert Koren’s opening goal for Slovenia showed how unfocused the US team was. The former West Bromwich Albion player had so much time and space on the ball. And Oguchi Onyewu failed to close him down. Koren then rifled in a shot past Onyewu’s head and into the corner past the stunned Tim Howard.

After that goal, Slovenia took total control of this match and seemed satisfied to keep possession, keep their shape and sit back rather than push forward. As a result, the United States couldn’t seem to get hold of the ball much. And when they did, they often lost possession in midfield.

Except for one to two chances, the United States failed to make a serious attempt at scoring in the first half. And by the 30th minute, it was very evident that the United States had run out of ideas and needed to change their tactics. Instead, Bob Bradley let the United States team continue with their pre-game tactics which came back to haunt him when Slovenia scored their second goal. At half time, the US side looked demoralized.

Few US soccer fans among the 200 at Wowies in Boca Raton, where we had the official MLS Talk World Cup viewing party, gave the US much of a chance in the second half. To come back and tie or beat Slovenia would be a miracle. But against all odds, the United States team did exactly that and played one of the best halves in recent memory. Landon Donovan’s goal was the game changer. And in the most important moment of the entire game, Donovan took his forefingers and pointed them to his temples and screamed at his players to remain focused. Why Bocanegra is captain and not Donovan is beyond me, but that’s another debate for another time.

From that moment on, you could see that the US had the confidence boost they needed to push for the second goal. It came, finally, after a brilliant knock-down by Jozy Altidore (can we say Emile Heskey) which went into the path of Michael Bradley (who made an amazing run) and the midfielder struck the ball into the top of the net. The US soccer fans at Wowies went into complete delirium with strangers hugging strangers and “USA” chants threatening to take the roof off the place.

Then the unthinkable happened. The United States scored off a free kick, but goal was disallowed by referee Koman Coulibaly. At first, it looked like it may have been an offside call, but that would have been incorrect because the US players were not offside. Then it seemed the call would have been for a push, which was just as harsh because the Slovenian defenders were man-handling the United States players. As the hours go by, we’ll find out more behind this call, but it’s safe to say it was a horrible decision which could end up costing the United States a place in the next round.

At the end of the day, the US men’s national team should be pleased with a draw in a game where, over the 90 minutes, they were outplayed by a very difficult Slovenia team. All eyes will be on this afternoon’s game between Algeria and England, which will then lead into next Wednesday’s incredible last day of Group C when USA plays Algeria while England beats Slovenia.

For the United States team, Bob Bradley has a lot of decisions to make. Buddle and Gomez need to play up front and Bradley needs to get his defenders being more focused and aware. They’ve been caught ball watching far too often. A clean sheet from his back four would be a welcome relief for US soccer fans.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
Click to comment


  1. susan from Plano, TX

    June 20, 2010 at 1:22 am

    GET OVER IT AMERICA!!! Edu was offsides..the ref made the right call!!!!!

  2. Nate S

    June 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    FIFA wont do a thing to this referee, they never do. The past couple seasons of the champions league has seen some awful refereeing decisions that change match outcomes but FIFA does nothing about it.

    As ridiculous as what happened is, we all just need to forget about that decision and look to beating algeria and progressing. Theres nothing we can do about the ref or the call.

  3. LLoyd

    June 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Being CHEATED is nothing new for the U.S. but being ROBBED Like this really pissed me off!!!!

  4. Robert

    June 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    FIFA needs to step in on this one and restore the integrity of the sport. Too much can be decided by a single person.

  5. Robert

    June 18, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    There needs to be an investigation on this referee. Too many of his calls were suspect starting with the yellow card on Findley.

  6. DCM

    June 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I wouldn’t say “the US men’s national team should be pleased with a draw in a game where, over the 90 minutes, they were outplayed by a very difficult Slovenia team”. Slovenia was the better squad over the 1st 45 minutes while the US was the the better squar over the 2nd 45 minutes.

    I agree that considering how poorly the US looked going into halftime that the US should be pleased with a draw. But the US has every reason to feel somewhat hollow regarding the end result after what was most certainly a game winner being nullified by a horrific phantam call by the match official.

  7. PissedOfInTheUSA

    June 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Koman Coulibaly is an incompetent referee. He should be fired and never be able to work as a referee again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Leagues: MLS

Translate »