CUE: Robert Stack, walking into frame, with a serious expression on his face. ROBERT STACK (eye brows slanted, sly smirk): Join me. Perhaps you may be able to help solve a mystery.
What mystery you ask?
Well, none other than the biggest mystery in sports right now: what was the penalty that cost the United States what would have been the deciding goal in the final few minutes of yesterday’s game against Slovenia?
And in case you didn’t watch the game, this image really is about all you need to see:
[Note: The time in the upper left hand corner says 90:05, but this is a replay of the infamous bad call that occurred a few minutes earlier. That was confirmed for me here.]
Just looking at this image, what team would you assume is committing a penalty?
By my count Slovenia (in white) is holding five of the six American players in the frame. And poor Michael Bradley, down in the corner, actually appears to be on the verge of getting some what-what-in-the-butt from his Slovenian defender.
If you looked directly under where it says “90:05″ you can see a Slovenian defender reaching his left hand to impede the progress of Maurice Edu. As anyone who watched knows, he was unsuccessful in this endeavor:
Edu scored a thrilling goal that should have won the match…
…were it not for this guy:
Image credit: Digg
Somehow…inexplicably…Koman Coulibaly called some sort of violation on the U.S. And what makes it even worse is that no one has any idea what it was because Coulibaly would not explain himself on the pitch and FIFA won’t let him now.
So…U.S. and Slovenia tied 2-2, in what certainly was the most thrilling game of the 2010 World Cup thus far.
Fortunately for the U.S., the tie – plus England’s tie with Algeria – leaves the U.S. in control of its own destiny: if we can beat Algeria, we’ll move onto the knockout round. It’s that simple. If we tie, then the waters get murky.