Wednesday, June 23, 2010

USA vs Algeria: Greatest US World Cup Game Ever?

Wow - what a finish.  In my opinion, this will go down as one of the greatest victories in USA World Cup history (1994 vs Colombia also stands out in my mind, but this game is a much better total package).  The US's 91st minute goal was essential - not just for the US to move on to the round of 16, but to avoid an eternity of disgruntled US fans complaining about officiating and in general being turned off to the game of soccer, after another horrendous blown call led to Clint Dempsey's 21st minute goal being disallowed for offside.  Again - we know that refs make mistakes, and offside is a call that's easy to blow when players are making full speed runs near the final third of the field - but Dempsey was standing nearly still, in an onside position - and the linesman had no excuse to blow that call.  Ironically, on the winning goal, Dempsey's attempt to score left him lying on the goal line in an offside position, which the linesman wisely did not flag, since the sequence was lightening quick and Donovan just pounded the ball into the net, so Dempsey wasn't impacting the play.

The US's frustration - at what seemed like an awful lot of bad luck over the rest of the game resulting in a plethora of near misses and wide open end to end action - turned to elation when Landon Donovan slotted home the goal in the 91st minute, eliciting the celebration.

I haven't been the biggest Clint Dempsey fan, but he played a wicked tough game and worked through a lot of adversity in the form of soul crushing missed opportunities, and his one successful offering being overturned, along with a punch to the face that left him bloody and needing stitches after the game.  I also loved the look of pure emotion on his face that was visible during the national anthem.

Anyway - this was about as exciting as a 1-0 game could ever hope to be.  Great game.


1 comment:

Yangabanga said...


The "new" offsides rule makes the line judges job even harder and seems at least to me to result in lots more confusion.

We were robbed. Again. But we won anyways!