Friday, June 21, 2002
The Wrath of Kahn
I can't believe we lost to Germany. If I hadn't watched the game, like just about everyone in the U.S., I could have easily believed we lost to Germany. But I got up at 6:20 am this morning to watch the live broadcast of the game, because I was tired of watching the rebroadcasts already knowing what the score was, and I don't have to be at work until 2:30pm since I'm observing a Chicago Fire practice session today. This was the first time in U.S. history since the first World Cup in 1930 that the U.S. had survived an elimination round (when we beat Mexico a few days back 2-0).
Our guys played thier hearts and guts out. We literally outplayed Germany. The U.S. had somewhere around 10 or more shots on goal. Germany only had 2. One of them went in.
A dozen players from each side collapsed after the final whistle was blown. German players did not celebrate. They were relieved to have beaten us.
We should have won the game. We should be in the semi-finals right now. At one point we were within inches of a tying goal when four minutes into the second half Lewis's shot bounced off of German keeper Kahn and bounced off the hand of Germand defender Frings. The ball was about 3/4 of the way across the line of the goalmouth when it bounced back out. I have to give credit to the ref (who normally I would like to call an ass) since the ball played the hand, and therefore was not considered a handball. We're talking inches though. If his hand hadn't been there, or was just two inches back, the ball would have completely crossed the line for the tying goal.
With minutes left in the game, we had another great chance off of a crossed header from Sanneh which came within a foot and a half from going in.
And I'm not even counting Donovan's first half heroics. He single-handedly embarassed German defenders with his dribbling skills as he passed the ball between a running German defender's legs as he lined up his first shot on Kahn. Kahn narrowly saved the then leading goal attempt with his fingertips on a diving three-fingered save. Donovan later attempted the same from the other side of the net and was again defeated by the evil Kahn. Where the hell is Kirk when you need him?!? We were so close.
But close only counts in horseshoes, handgrenades, and global thermo-nuclear warfare.
Oh well. There's always the next...four years. ::sigh:: At least the world cant' laugh at us anymore. We got as far as England did. Ph34r U.5.
As an aside, I guess interest in soccer in the U.S. is growing. Good Morning America cut away from their broadcast a few times to show footage of the game, evidently.
Stats obtained from ESPN