The Haphazard Blog

Tag: algeria

You Can’t Count Them Out

by on Jun.23, 2010, under Soccer, Sports

The best way I can describe the game today is nerve-rackingly awesome. The U.S. run of scoring late continues. This time they were able to score during extra time to win 1-0, win the group and advance to the Round of 16.  Next up is Ghana.

Landon Donovan Celebrates

Landon Donovan Celebrates

The U.S. has shown that they can stand up to the pressure and that they finish strong. During qualifying they had to win after going down four times. Twice they came back from 2-0 to tie the game with goals in the last 20 minutes. They are stepping up when it matters the most.

There was another disallowed goal during this game. If the U.S. had tied, a very big deal would’ve been made about it because they would’ve been going home. I wasn’t really outraged. It was a bad call, but that kind of call happens. Sometimes they go your way, other times they don’t. The ball was bouncing around quite a bit and it’s a tough call to make in real-time.

John Harkes was pretty upset about it during the game and even rattled off a quick list of the big refereeing errors that cost the U.S. goals in the past. He wasn’t nearly as outraged when they made the same call (there was no goal to wave off) against Algeria.

I think this was the best 90 minutes the U.S. has played all tournament. They were hammering the Algerian keeper all game and finally — after a disallowed goal, a shot off the post, two players missing a wide open goal — they got one into the back of the net. They look to be getting better with each game.

Looking at the bracket now, the top quarter isn’t too bad. Uruguay (#16 FIFA Ranking), South Korea (#47), Ghana (#32) and the United States (#14). The rest of the teams in the top half haven’t been determined, but if I guessed now, it will be Netherlands (#4), Italy (#5), Brazil (#1) and Switzerland (#24). The Switzerland call is a tough one. I could see Group H going to coin flip.

The good news is, if the U.S. were able to make it to the Semi-Finals, only one of the other four teams will be left standing. But that’s getting way ahead of things.

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