Last night I complimented the World Cup refs on an excellent performance so far, especially the linesman….Well. That was before Koman Coulibaly. That was before the referees decided the outcome of BOTH games so far today.
The Mali refs disallowed the 3rd American goal, and there is no reason why. Did he call offsides on Bradley? On Edu? Did he call a foul on Bradley for trying to free himself from the two armed bearhug that the Slovenian defender gave him? No one knows, and so far they are not saying why. US Coach Bob Bradley claims that he heard it was the latter. If so, that is probably a story chosen after the fact by the refs because it is a judgment call, and thus less likely for FIFA to have sanctionable grounds.
Even if the linesman screws up the offsides call, then you give the penalty kick. Easy game. Horrible horrible call, and pretty apparent. The linesman sometimes have difficult calls to make, but this was not one of them.
Really, it was not a strong performance by the ref before the wrongly disallowed goal. Jozy Altidore gets taken down outside of the box by the last defender? That is why the rule was originally created so that a red card can be given. Was the red card given? No.
There were quite a number of dangerous Slovenian challenges in the second half. Or the yellow card against Robbie Findley for the ball that hit him in the face. And do not even get me started about the (only!) 3 minutes of injury time that were all used on the Slovenian injury. Erroneous.
On top of that, was this questionable red card against Miroslav Klose of Germany in the first game of the day.
While this is at least arguably correct under the FIFA rules of the game, I doubt that is given a red card very frequently. It was his second yellow, but even so, I doubt this is given very frequently. Either way, when a ref goes card happy in the first half (the ref gave out 6 cards in the first 35 minutes), results like this happen quite frequently.