USA vs. Slovenia 2010 World Cup: Best Game of the World Cup, So Far

Tyler JuranovichCorrespondent IIIJune 18, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 18:  Landon Donovan of the United States celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between Slovenia and USA at Ellis Park Stadium on June 18, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

It looked hopeless or at least very dim for the United States at half of their second group play against Slovenia. The U.S. were down 0-2, and it looked very dim for a comeback, but the United States, as they always seem to do, came back to get a much needed point in a terribly refereed game. 

Sloppy defense early was the culprit again, for the U.S.; conceding a goal just twelve minutes in. This has become some sort of tradition for the U.S. and it almost bit them in the butt this match. Another Slovenian goal in the 41' put Slovenia up two going into the half. It was looking bad for the Americans and the chance to advance out of group play was slim.

The Americans needed some leadership and they found it in Landon Donovan. Donovan, the all-time leading scorer for the U.S., scored a beauty at a ridiculous angle at the 47', handing all the momentum to the Americans. The Americans played much better soccer in the second half, but wouldn't net the equalizer until the 81', a goal scored by Michael Bradley, the coach's son. 

And then a call came that was so terrible it voided what would've been the game winner for the U.S. In the 85', the Americans were pushing for another goal. Donovan centered the ball off a free kick, Maurice Edu broke from his defender, and put his foot on the oncoming ball, putting the ball in the back of the net. 

GOAL!! But no, the referee blew his whistle on a non-existent penalty. The referee never said what the call was and after looking at the replay multiple times, if there was a foul, it wasn't on the Americans. 

The goal should have counted, but there's nothing the Americans do. Let me just say, there were many bad calls by the referee. So many it was frustrating. The constant calling of non-existent fouls, usually going against the U.S., can't be called the reason the U.S. didn't win, but you have to be better than that.

It's the World Cup and refereeing like that cannot be happening. 

The U.S. can at least say they're still alive after getting a point, but them advancing is still totally up in the air. It'll be a little clearer after the England/Algeria game later this afternoon. 

The U.S. can't keep falling behind early, wake up and struggle just to tie the game. Tighter defense needs to happen for the U.S. to get a win against Algeria next Wednesday, but as of right now, the Americans are hoping for a tie between England and Algeria. 

It was a frustrating tie because everyone knew the U.S. should have won, but they need to be happy with, at least, getting a point.

They're still alive, but for how long?