Reyna looks nervous in the tunnel. The signage above the tunnel reads, “A time to make friends,” which hardly describes the feelings of the players. “A time to kill your enemy” might be closer to the truth.
I like how all the other countries seem to have adopted a “let’s put arms around one another and sing our national anthem” kind of treatment to the pre-game. One thing you can say about Americans is that we don’t want to be in the zip code as our neighbors at sporting events let alone put our arms around them. At least we don’t use the Bellamy salute.
Couple of quick cheap fouls early. I notice Beaseley isn’t starting. Can’t imagine why unless it was the total chicken egg he laid last Monday. Ref is calling it tight, oh lord, he’s falling for the Italian dives. That stinks.
Totti picks up a yellow on what looked like a very weak call. Dempsey on the run, which is of course his specialty. Italians are still diving.
US running a trap, which is OK so long as the linesmen are on top of things. Toni stopped on a 1 v. 1 by Onweyu.
Less than great call against Cherundolo out at the corner. Half the Italian squad offside on the kick, though.
Good attack by Convey yields a dangerous foul at the top of the box at the 14th minute mark. We should make this. I can make this, and that’s a sure sign. Missed off the wall. Geez. Corner to US. We’ve had the run of play. This is the team we expected to see against the Czechs.
Dempsey with pretty step overs, but Convey puts the cross high. Dempsey wide in the 17th.
Pope gets a yellow at the 20th minute. Italian pulled him down. No way the ref could see it, but it was a crappy call. Dive nets a free kick for the Italians in the 21th and a GOAL off the resulting free kick. Against the run of play and unfortunate. I don’t know if Pope was playing a trap and nobody else was or what, but his guy just run down and headed it in. Maybe Onweyu was picked to hold them on. Tough to tell.
Italian creamed by his goalkeeper. Little magic spray, and he’s ready for GQ again.
Maestroni dives and gets the call. Boy, it doesn’t take much to get a whistle. Reyna gets an undeserved call. Ref and linesmen not having a good game of it so far.
OMG Zaccardo of Italy puts in the cross for the US. Own goal. That was a brutally bad strike. He was relatively alone, the ball came right to him and instead of clear it, he popped it backward into the net. Horrible embarrassment—it can happen to anyone and if you play defense the odds are good it will at some point happen to you—but 1-1 now in the 26th minute.
OMG red card to de Rossi of Italy in the 27th minute for an elbow! Whew! McBride looks like he got hit by a truck. He’s bleeding everywhere from a cut on his cheek. Replay shows de Rossi swing the elbow. Bye, bye and good riddance. That was a horrible foul. The Italians are self-destructing.
Foul against Toni in the 29th. Toni can’t redeem himself in the 31st despite a good look.
US with the run of play. Phantom call against Pope in the 33rd. Dive by an Italian in the 34rd. Totti subs out at the 35th minute. Was it his yellow card? Conditioning? I dunno.
Maestroni shoots a good one just high in the 41st. Very close.
Maestroni tossed 2 minutes later for what didn’t look like a red card offense. He got ball and little bit of man, but it’s a tossing for being dumb more than anything else. He had no need to go down for that. Stupid move.
Toni takes a dive at the 46 minute mark. The Italians are the masters.
And that’s half time, 1-1, and 10 men a side.
Well, Pope red carded almost immediately which I have to say is one of the worst calls of the Cup. Perhaps not as awful as the red card in the first Trinidad game, but nonetheless a horrible call. US down to 9 men for the rest of this.
Convey, a midfielder, out; Conrad, a defender, in. Bummer, but it’s the right move. We’re going to be playing a lot of defense from here on out.
Linesmen are missing the offsides calls. Italy was on but called off in the 52nd.
Reyna with a weak shot in the 57th.
Handball! Hbndball in the box totally missed by the ref. Awful non-call.
Iaquina in, Toni out in the 61st.
Dempsey out, Beasley in in the 62nd. Not sure I would have made that change. I’d take John O’Brien in a heartbeat. Donovan with a great run, McBride’s left footer goes wide. Should have done better with that.
63rd minute, and Reyna misses the possibility of Beaseley on a backheel through the middle. If he’d seen it, Beasely was 1 v. 1 with the keeper. Too bad.
Beaseley’s goal in the 64th called offside because McBride was involved in the play. Good call.
Italian guy carted off after colliding with Bocanegra. Give him some magic spray.
Cherundolo makes a nice run; Zambrotta gets a yellow. Nothing.
Kasey with a nice save in the 72nd.
US holding its own very well, which is impressive and tiring. Last 15 minutes will be tough.
Cherundolo with a nice move and cross. Just misses McBride. Kasey with a huge save a minute later.
Corner, Corner, Corner, Corner to Italy in the final minutes. US holds tough. And that’s it, 1-1. Terrible officiating, but USA showed a lot of heart—unlike Monday—and if we beat Ghana and Italy beats the Czechs, we go to the second round where we can lose to Brazil. Still, playing with heart is all US fans demand, and in that light, today’s game was a huge success.