It was not a matter of Italy tiying the USA, than the USA lost the game versus the Italians. Unfortunately, it was the officials who decided the outcome of the 1-1 draw today. Jorge Larrionda it not a name we should know. But after his horrendous, atrocious, down right piss poor calling the Italy v USA match today, nothing was decided in Group E. Maybe that is a positive for the World Cup overall, keeping virtually all the team alive going into their third and final group stage match. Unfortunately, the damage has been done, a black eye given to an otherwise great World Cup.
I know FIFA has come down on officiating recently and wanted to keep tighter control of what goes on, on the pitch. But today was something more. There have already been too many yellow cards awarded in the previous 24 matches, leading some to believe the scale has tipped conversely the other direction. In a 23′ stretch of the first half, two yellows and one red card were handed out, giving the USA a 1-man advantage with the expulsion of Daniele De Rossi for a hard elbow to the face of Brian McBride. Even as an Azzurri fan, the card was warranted, no one wants to see players injured. Only 5′ into the game, Francesco Totti was given a yellow card for a very questionable tackle. Verbal warning maybe, a yellow card? Sorry, bad call. And minutes prior to De Rossi’s red card, Eddie Pope, who was playing reckless much of the game was given a yellow card as well.
The only goals on the board belonged to Italy, who not only scored at 22′, but scored an own goal to give the USA their only tally of the day and in the tournament. The game would take another turn at the 45′ minute when Pablo Mastroeni would come in hard and without warning from Jorge Larrionda be given a red card. Two minutes later, Eddie Pope would receive another yellow for a hard tackle and be ejected from the game with a red card. Football, the unconventional way, 10 v 9 for about the remaining 42′ minutes. This is where Italy had their chances, as did the USA, but it would be the USA having some good chances, unable to finish.
Italy with their previous victory over Ghana now sits on top of Group E with 4 points and a +3 goal differential. The final matches of the group stage are going to be exciting, with all four teams still in the hunt. Footie at its best, unfortunately this game turned on the whistle and cards of Jorge Larrionda. Hopefully this jackass does not officiate another World Cup game in Germany.
* What is this jackass thinking in his article, ‘The most exciting game so far‘.