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On Air: The Official Blog of WSJU Sports

USA entered todays game knowing Slovenia was the leaders of the group. After a 1-1 draw with England this past Saturday USA knew this game would be a must win. If you only viewed the first half you most likely thought that the US team forgot they had to actually play soccer.

Valter Birsa scored the opening goal of the match. A beautiful strike about 25 yards out from the goal that had Tim Howard frozen in his tracks as the ball sailed into the back of the net. Howard came out to the 6 yard line to cut the angle off on the offense which turned out to be a mistake. After countless attempts by the US team, one attempt of which was saved by Slovenia’s defender as it nearly was put in by a sliding Landon Donovan, seemed to open up Slovenia’s defense but it would work not in favor of the US. After a strong attack forward, Slovenia captured the ball and pressed on a back peddling US team and Zlatan Ljubijankic got behind the defense and popped the second goal to give Slovenia a 2-0 lead into halftime.

Second half was a sign of what team USA was all about. Gritty, tough, fast pace soccer that should be played in the first half of games not just when US is down. Landon Donovan, after a mistake by Slovenia’s defender, raced up the right side of the pitch and into the box and with an incredible shot from an impossible angle, or so it appeared, gave the US some life a minute into the second half. USA would take that life and drain the energy out of Slovenia’s team. After consistent attempts at the goal Michael Bradley, son of coach Bob Bradley, scored what would be the tying goal in the 82′ minute of the match.

The turning moment of the game was off a free kick by Donovan which was put in the back of the net by Maurice Edu was called no goal by an “apparent” offside. Replay’s show the referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco had, again for the 200th time in the match, made a terrible call which cost the US team one of the most unbelievable comeback’s in World Cup Soccer history.

There is no discussion the game should have ended 3-2 in favor of the US but as it stands the game finished 2-2 and the US now is in a must WIN situation if they as Ian Darke would say “Want to make it into the the knock out round”. The hope is still there, the faith is still alive, the game is not over…. just yet

-Timmy Dimas

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