World Cup 2010, United States Vs. Slovenia: Late Referee Decision Dictates 2-2 Draw

The United States scored two second half goals to comeback from a halftime deficit, getting a point from Slovenia after a controversial 2-2 draw Friday.  Referee Koman Coulibaly's whistle canceling out a late, set piece conversion from Maurice Edu left questions as to whether the United States deserved all three points.

The U.S. went into halftime down 2-0 after first half goals from Valter Birsa and Zlatan Ljubijankic but immediately pulled one back after the second half kickoff when Landon Donovan put a shot from Samir Handanovic's left, near the goal line, into the top of the net.  In the 47th minute, the United States had made it 2-1.

Picking-up where they had left-off in the first half (before Ljubijankic's 41st minute, counter-attack goal), the United States maintained steady pressure on the Slovenes, controlling the second half.  But for all their threats, the United States' efforts resulted in few shots on goal before the 80th minute, the best being Jozy Altidore's powerful shot off a set piece-scramble that went straight into Handanovic's chest.

In the 82nd minute, the United States created their second clear chance of the half when a long ball played for Altidore was knocked into the path of Michael Bradley, the midfielder running onto the ball, one-timing a shot past Handanovic for the tying goal.  Altidore won an aerial battle in the arc and headed a ball down, to the right of attack, where Bradley ran into the space vacated by Bojan Jokic, who had followed a Donovan run across the box.  Bradley's right-footed one-timer completed the States' comeback, though the U.S. was one whistle away from getting a full three points.

Late in the match, a set piece converted by Maurice Edu was controversially denied by a referee's whistle, though replays left it uncertain what foul had occurred.  Speculation was that Malian referee Koman Coulibaly could have been calling Michael Bradley for offside or Maurice Edu for a foul on the kick, though video showed little evidence of either.  Video did show a number of players engaged in physical battles during the kick, with Slovene players wrapping-up counterparts as States players charged through their line.

After the controversial no-goal, the Slovenes were able to bleed out the match and retain a point, leaving them on top of Group C with four points ahead of Wednesday's match with England.

The United States have two points through two matches, concluding group play on Wednesday.  A win over Algeria means the worst the U.S. could finish is third in the group, even on points with Slovenia and England (five), losing on goal difference to England and goals scored to Slovenia should results break against the States.

Slovenia and England play at the same time Wednesday.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.