Are. You. Serious.
Where to begin?
As a prelude to the inexplicable reffing, I shall begin where I began my live tweeting of the USA- Slovenia game. It was a fairly rapid turnaround in sentiment.
Petulant? Maybe. Relevant and understandable complaint? Yes.
I had a similarly toned exchange on gchat with my Maine expert:
Me: I mean, was he just hanging out having himself a self-reflective moment?
Spike: “Oh man it’s so cool to be in the World Cup, the US isn’t great in soccer so we have to do well, I have to do well, I’m the goalie, I have to goal…wait…what just happened?”
Me: Really, after I tweeted about how happy I was that his ribs are not sticking out of his chest.
At least the second time Slovenia goaled Howard moved towards the ball. That was an upgrade.
And then there were the calls. Most people are focusing on that last goal disallowing call, but Referee Coulibaly was a mess throughout. Commentators were consistently baffled by calls made by the Malian official, having no qualms openly and definitively disagreeing with his decisions.
“Absolutely ridiculous decision, one of the stupidest decisions I think I’ve ever seen.”
I’m no expert, but there was some crazy shit going down.
Not that I don’t admit the American performance in the first half was entirely lackluster. As favored Words To Bumble commentator Alexi Lalas put it: “They had their chances [in the first half], and they didn’t finish their chances.”
The Lalas man was not happy.
Luckily for Team USA—as I am confident that Lalas was about to personally go kick some ass—Donovan brought them back into play immediately into the second half.
It was about time.
And that must have been one hell of a half time pep talk, because—albeit 45 minutes late—the US finally starting playing.
And then, magically, Michael Bradley (son of the coach) put another one in for the US. Fans in the stands were literally in tears. It was a special moment.
And then came the penalty kick; and then came Maurice Edu (upon whom I had decided to pin all my hopes in a fit of halftime frustration) and what appeared to be the third goal and a win for the US.
So much happiness.
And then so much devastation when inexplicably, Coulibaly blew his whistle and disallowed the goal based on an invisible foul. In fact, it looked like the American players were the ones being fouled.
Sample from the commentators?
“I cannot believe that call by the referee, that is horrible.”
They called it a “nightmare.”
After the game, Coach Bob Bradley commented: “A lot of emotion went into the second half… Still don’t know why the goal was disallowed.”
“I think there was nothing there. I think it’s a good goal and that’s that.”
“Nobody knows” what that call was.
And in the nature of the game, there are no forthcoming explanations, just moving along, on to the next match.