More from Colin Crawford in (and around) the field
Yesterday we went to the USA v Slovenia game. We learned from our previous exploits to show up really early to avoid lines for the bus and to get into the stadium. We tried to buy some souvenir scarves but were declined by “the official card for the world cup” (since I am out of the US)…which is also the only card that you can use to buy souvenirs outside the stadium…awesome, thanks Visa.
The crowd was absolutely phenomenal. The US fans were in the stands and in strong voice at least 45 minutes before kickoff. The first goal was tough to swallow and the second was downright depressing just before halftime…especially when the States almost got the equalizer just a few minutes before.
Halftime really gave it time to sink in that the US probably won’t make it out of the group stage. When Donovan scored just after half, the US fans woke up and were given a glimmer of hope and used every bit of their energy to push the States on for the equalizer.
When that came, the place went absolutely nuts…at some point I picked up the 5-year-old child that was standing next to me and gave him a big hug.
Now the part that is painful to talk about…the 3rd goal. The entire stadium thought it was good…it wasnt until we settled our celebrations down that we noticed it wasn’t allowed. I went from being absolutely overjoyed at what should have been the greatest comeback in US soccer history, to being absolutely furious and puzzled as to what had just happened.
When we got back to the house, all the people here were just as puzzled and felt for us. We quickly focused our attention on England v Algeria and were given a gift by the Algerians. We need a win 6/23 to move on, and that’s it. We don’t need help from anyone else and our destiny is back in our own hands, so I guess I will use that to alleviate the frustration with the ref.
After the England v Algeria match, the USA v Slovenia match was replayed and I got a better idea of just how bad the ref really was. There was a string of 4 fouls in the second half that could have been red cards against Slovenia, but only 3 yellows were shown. I read today that the ref is having an expedited performance review and will most likely be banned from officiating any more matches this world cup. For me, the damage is already done, so it doesn’t really matter. The best possible solution is for the US to come out with something to prove against the Algerians and take 3 points and one of the top 2 spots.