Face Saved…

“Nor do you need a high IQ to know that if you lose your opening match 3-0 to the Czech Republic and your next game is against Italy, you should probably have packed your bags already.”

From my post The Idiot’s Guide to The Intellectual’s World Cup

You’ll have to believe me that I edited out a parenthises addendum that said

“(though the Americans always do better when expectations are lower.)”

Considered dead meat going into the game against the Italians, the USA team demonstrated how it ended up in the Quarter Finals of the last World Cup and why those who do follow the sport out here like to believe in the National Side. Judging by the report I followed on the BBC Five Lives site, the British commentators were no less impressed by a team that played a damn site better than England has in either game so far. The 1-1 draw may not be enough to get them into the next round, but – and especially considering the two awful red cards and the fact that they played the second half with only nine men against Italy’s ten – it’s enough to save their collective face. Good work.

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5 Comment(s)

  1. 18 June, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    USA could beat England. Let’s step outside.

  2. Mark Notton

    19 June, 2006 at 8:38 am

    The performance of the USA side against Italy was mightily impressive and their constant knack of passing the ball accurately to their team mates was hopefully noted by the England Team who appear to have a bit of a problem with this aspect of the game.

    The elbow on Brian McBride was disgraceful and refereeing decisions from there on in seemed to indicate that that the odds were stacked against the American team (borne out by the red card awards).

    Good work indeed but as impressive as they were, I just could not agree with the assertion of ITV pundit David Pleat that Brian McBride is pound for pound the best striker in the premiership. I think that Thierry Henry may have something to say about that one.

  3. snotty moore

    21 June, 2006 at 8:02 am

    Hang on. You must have seen a different game to the shambles shown here. The referee was pernickety for both teams, disallowing a perfectly good Italian goal, but the sendings-off were spot on- De Rossi was sent straight off instantly, Mastroeni attempted to break Pirlo’s ankle for no good reason and if the already booked Eddie Pope was stupid enough to give away an instant yellow 45 seconds into the second half (presumably straight after Arena had warned his side to calm down), then why is that the ref’s fault?

    USA couldn’t score against ten man Italy and needed a fluke own goal to scrape a point. Them’s the facts. USA could beat England, just as England could win the World Cup…

  4. 21 June, 2006 at 12:27 pm

    Bloody hell. We did see different games! The one I saw had a USA goal disallowed. I don’t remember any Italian goal being disallowed but that’s probably because I was biased. For now, I’ll defer to the BBC report on the game which reports De Rossi’s elbow on McBride as “the undoubted low point of a World Cup that has tried so hard to entertain” and does not argue against the two USA red cards.

    here’s hoping we watch the same game as each other tomorrow!



  5. snotty moore

    21 June, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    The USA goal was disallowed due to McBride standing five yards offside between the goalie and the man shooting. Had he been running back it may have counted, but frankly I was impressed he was fit enough to even get behind the Italian defence.
    Gennaro Gattuso popped a deflected free kick straight back in with his first kick of the game, but an offside was called incorrectly.

    I thought the USA played quite well, and Italy horribly (De Rossi’s assault will get a three match ban I hope, at least), but like Australia v Brazil they never looked like actually scoring. Even the ‘goal’ was a freak deflection over the usually reliable Buffon. I will certainly be rooting for Ghana v USA, because Africa has been hard done by in the draw this time, and an African side needs to reach the last eight to ensure 6 African teams play in 2010. Nothing personal, American soccer fans, just horrible FIFA politics.

    Tonight- Arg v Holland- now that’s what I call football…


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