Dempsey: Referee encouraged rough play

Associated Press

IRENE, South Africa

Clint Dempsey says the referee who disallowed a late U.S. go-ahead goal against Slovenia encouraged rough play in the penalty area by failing to whistle infractions early in the game.

“Before the tournament, they told us that any type of holding on corners is a penalty, any type of grabbing around a player is a penalty. So when we get to the game, that’s not what’s going on,” he said Sunday. “So you have to adapt.”

After the U.S. rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit Friday night to tie the score, Maurice Edu appeared to put the Americans ahead in the 85th minute when he volleyed in Landon Donovan’s free kick. But referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali called it off for reasons he didn’t explain, and the game finished 2-2. Some speculated the whistle was because Dempsey pushed Andraz Kirm as Donovan took the kick..”

The Americans (0-0-2) play Algeria (0-1-1) in Wednesday’s first-round finale. The U.S. would advance with a win and possibly with a draw.



Luis Fabiano scored a pair of goals and Elano added another as Brazil secured a spot in the second round.

Italy 1, New Zealand 1


Defending champion Italy was held to a second 1-1 draw, this time by 78th-ranked New Zealand. The All Whites scored only minutes into the match before Italy tied it in the 19th minute.

Paraguay 2, Slovakia 0


Enrique Vera and Cristian Riveros scored and Paraguay moved closer to advancing.

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