Saturday, June 17, 2006

U.S. Ties Italy in “Interesting” World Cup Match

In a really bizarre World Cup match -- the whole group the US is in is a wild one -- the US soccer team tied the Italian side at 1-1.

My ‘Soccer Stars’ watched it on the big screen, and I listened to it on a UK Daily Sun web feed while working in my study . Neither my family nor the English announcers could figure out a lot of the things that referee was doing.
The IHT, no lover of the American tribe, raises even more questions in my mind about the officiating:
Larrionda had refereed a previous match involving the U.S. that generated controversy.

In June 2003, during a Confederations Cup match in France, he awarded Turkey a controversial penalty kick and Turkey scored again later on a play that appeared to be offsides. Larrionda was banned for six months in 2002 by his country's soccer federation for unspecified "irregularities." Two days before the suspension he had been chosen to officiate at the 2002 World Cup, which he was then forced to miss.”
What was it with that referee? I don’t think he had it in for either the US or Italy. I think he felt cheated out of a World Cup already and was trying to get two Cups worth out of one game. May it be his last.

On the plus side, unless you’re a quibbler, the “English-speaking” agreed-to themes of the match seems to be that although it was a tough game, the U.S. brought a lot to the stadium today and caught the Italians off guard.

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