Sunday, June 18, 2006

Comment on Italy v USA

I watched the game on ABC and, at the risk of alienating some of my American friends, have to wholeheartedly agree with this assessment by Rob Hughes in the London Sunday Times:
There were 34 fouls, some of them disgraceful. There were three red cards, all of them justified, and three more yellow cards that might have turned the deeper colour. There were two goals, two memorable saves from either goalkeeper, and a match of shame petered out.
ABC's commentators were trying to say that the first US red card was just a make-up, a compensation for the Italian sending-off, by the ref. What partisan rubbish. If a Brit commentator tried that he would be laughed at in the street. The rules are easy to understand on this point - when a player tackles another with no intention of playing the ball (because the ball has already been passed!) but simply the intention to injure, it is a red card. That covers both the American sendings-off.

I don't understand why DaMarcus Beasley wasn't played from the kick-off. He was the classiest thing about the US effort, followed closely by the goalie Kasey Keller who really is world class from what little we saw of him in action.

Oh, and I don't think Italy's second goal was technically offside. The "offside" player was no-where near the play (by a good 10 or 15 yards), wasn't interfering with play, was running in the opposite direction and was unmarked thus proving he wasn't interfering with the opposition's ability to play the ball. Technically, that is a "no offside" call even if he was in front of the ball and any defenders at the time of play, but I totally understand that most refs err on the side of caution and call it anyway.

As for the Italians - this has to be their worst squad in decades and the fans must be absolutely disgusted. The guy who scored their own-goal won't be able to go out in public without his Menachim Begin Disguise Kit for at least a year and the manager is history after this competition.


No comments: