The US vs. the World… Cup

While the rest of the country is whining about the Jerry Stackhouse
suspension, and poor Shaq getting knocked down in the completely-uninteresting NBA finals, the United States put on a good show yesterday in their World Cup game against Italy. The game was incredibly exciting, but for most of the wrong reasons. The US was playing strong, dominating early, with some good opportunities, but Italy scored first with a header, 22 minutes in. And that’s pretty much where the normal game ended.

Just a couple minutes later, the US tied the game 1-1. But wait… it wasn’t the US that actually put the ball in the goal. The Italian defender tried clearing the ball, but the bad kick just bounced it right into his own goal. Hey, we’ll take it.

And then the fouls and red cards start flying. McBride elbowed in the face… and then some poor tackles by the US also called red. The US news coverage of course considers the follow-up red cards completely ridiculous, but others are a bit more neutral on the matter. Here are the foul/red card video highlights. Regardless, it’s still unfortunate to see both teams lose men and play short-handed. You can find a full-game highlight reel here.

But thanks to Ghana’s amazing upset over the Czech Republic (highlight video) earlier
in the day, the US still has a slim chance of moving on in their bracket. First, they absolutely need to win against Ghana on Thursday, and then Italy would need to beat the Czechs. Or, if Czech beat Italy (or tied), it’d come down to goal differntial, and we’d need to beat Ghana by 4 points. It’s a long-shot, but the World Cup has already shown that crazier things could happen.

And lastly, here’s a video of an amazing lead-up to a perfect goal by Argentina.

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