Sports Outside the Beltway

USA Plays Italy to a 1-1 Draw

Man, we were lucky to get away with that one.

I know nothing about soccer. So it was with some surprise that I found myself watching the USA vs. Italy today. However, it was a good match – the USA played EXTREMELY well compared to their effort before, and certainly rose to the challenge that faced us in this game.

The referees were much too eager to bring out the cards in this one. Very quickly in the second half, the US found themselves going from one man up to one man down thanks to two very quick uses of the red card (well, Eddie Pope was a quick use of a second yellow card). Playing almost the entire second half one man down, we were extremely fortunate to keep the Italians from scoring – no team with 9 men has ever scored in World Cup history, and we didn’t buck that trend. But the fact that we didn’t let Italy score either was an amazing effort on defense by our side.

In order to advance, the USA needs to beat Ghana (which may be tougher than it looks) and also needs to root for Italy when they play the Czechs. That would put Italy up on top with 7 points, the USA in second with 4, and the other two teams would have 3. We can’t tie with our current horrid goal differential, as we will probably lose that without scoring a huge number of goals against Ghana.

We have to wait until Thursday to discover our World Cup fate.

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