Ghana upset the Czech Republic this morning. So that took some of the pressure off the US to win, but the score of the game was not the story of the game. The story was the refereeing, and no fan of any sport wants that to be the story.
Early on the United States was all over Italy, attacking the ball, controlling the midfield. They could have dominated the game even more early on were it not for a rash of careless passes deep in the Italy end. But then Giardino scores for Italy in the 21st minute because Eddie Pope was trying the offside trap instead of marking Giardino.
Shortly after, Zaccardo scores an own goal in the 26th minute, helping out the US cause. Italy's Derossi receives a red card for on an elbow hit to the face of Brian McBride shortly thereafter. (About the only red or yellow card worthy of being thrown in the whole match) But then Mastroenni recieves a questionable red card on a late tackle. Make-up call perhaps? So the US played with 10 from the 44th minute on.
From the beginning of the second half on the game became choppy and unwatchable. We have a saying in this country, "Just let them play." When referees think they're more important than the game, the game gets turned into something the opposite of smooth and beautiful to watch. Not only is it hard to watch because the referees interrupt the flow of play, but then the players feed off the ref's propensity to call fouls and start falling to the ground like trees at the axe of a lumberjack.
Eddie Pope two minutes into the 2nd half gets a second yellow card for a barely late tackle, which means a red card and the US is down to nine. Then another Italian player is taken off on a stretcher after having another player come down on the back of his heel off a tied head ball, which the ref calls another foul on.
What is this, figure skating?! I'm remembering what it is I don't like about this sport...fake falling, referees controlling matches. I can see where the game might be beautiful to watch were it not for that kind of nonsense.
I think I'll switch over to the 3rd round of the US Open. You know what's great about golf? Each man to himself against the course and no referees.
Of course, just as I'm getting ready to change channels, another Italian player lays on the ground while his team almost gives up a goal after getting a foot in the butt. These sissies need to try to play some real football. Here's hoping the US wins but I've had enough. This is why no one likes sister kissing!
soccer World Cup Czechs football Italy referee red card Ghana own goal