Friday, 18th June 2010
Daddy's Boy Does it For USA
Slovenia vs USA
in Jo'burg Ellis Park
If Slovenia had won this, they would have gone five points ahead
of England and been the first team to qualify for the second round.
The game hadn't really looked like much when Tim Howard was watching
Slovenia move forward in the thirteenth minute. Valter Birsa struck the ball from so far
out that the Everton goalkeeper probably thought the unpredictable Jabulani would float
high or wide.
The ball did take a swerve, but the height of the flight didn't alter
and America went a goal down.
Slovenia did everything they needed to do to keep ahead, and just when
the United States thought that they might get a sniff at an equaliser, Slovenia took a
slight tug at the Stars and Stripey nasal hair and made their eyes water; as Zlatan
Ljubijankic calmly slotted the ball past Tim Howard with the inside of his foot.
Should Brad Guzan or Marcus Hahnemann be coming on for the
second-half? Of course not, but that's the sort of rubbish you hear when an England
goalkeeper only lets one soft goal go past him.
At the start of the second-half, Team USA's double substitution paid
instant dividends, as Landon Donovan put the North American giants back in with a shout
against the European minnows.
The US goal didn't really ruffle Slovenia; as they continued to play
their short-passing game, in search of another goal.
The United States brought themselves level with less than ten minutes
to play; a long ball was headed down by Jozy Altidore for Michael Bradley - the manager's
son - to toe poke home.
With the USA level, the goalscorer's father went all defensive again -
instead of pushing on for the win.
Maurice Edu couldn't believe that the USA's third goal was disallowed,
for tugging off the ball.
So Slovenia are not through, and even if England beat Algeria later
tonight, nothing in the group will be decided until next Wednesday. Slovenia must be very
disappointed, but full credit to Papa Bradley's substitutions.
Slovenia 2 USA 2
1:0 Valter Birsa (13 mins)
2:0 Zlatan Ljubijankic (42 mins)
2:1 Landon Donovan (48 mins)
2:2 Michael Bradley (82 mins)
Man of The Match:
Landon Donovan - Gave Team USA the hope they needed, early in the second-half.
1 Samir Handanovic; 13 Bojan Jokic, 5 Bostjan Cesar, 4 Marko Suler, 2 Miso Brecko; 17
Andraz Kirm, 18 Aleksandar Radosavljevic, 8 Robert Koren, 10 Valter Birsa; 11 Milivoje
Novakovic, 9 Zlatan Ljubijankic.
1 Tim Howard; 3 Carlos Bocanegra, 5 Oguchi Onyewu, 15 Jay DeMerit, 6 Steve Cherundolo; 8
Clint Dempsey, 16 José Torres, 4 Michael Bradley, 10 Landon Donovan; 17 Jozy Altidore, 20
Koman Coulibaly (Mali)
46 Mins (United States) - 22 Benny Feilhaber on for 20 Robbie Findley
46 Mins (United States) - 19 Maurice Edu on for 16 José Torres
74 Mins (Slovenia) - 7 Nejc Pecnik on for 9 Zlatan Ljubijankic
75 Mins (United States) - 9 Herculez Gomez on for 5 Oguchi Onyewu
87 Mins (Slovenia) - 14 Suad Filekovic on for 10 Valter Birsa
94 Mins (Slovenia) - 20 Andrej Komac on for 7 Nejc Pecnik
35 Mins - Bostjan Cesar (Slovenia)
40 Mins - Robbie Findley (United States)
69 Mins - Marko Suler (Slovenia)
72 Mins - Andraz Kirm (Slovenia)
75 Mins - Bojan Jokic (Slovenia)
0 Red Cards.
This is the first meeting between Slovenia and USA.
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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