Posted on: June 18, 2010 9:33 am
Edited on: June 18, 2010 12:01 pm

U.S. vs. Slovenia Live Blog

Welcome to the live blog for today's Group C game between the U.S. and Slovenia. My name is Ross Devonport, and I'll be your guide through the 90 mins of action that starts at 10 a.m. ET from Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Just refresh this page often for all the updates.

FULL TIME -- That's all folks, as Altidore chases after the referee to try and complain about the goal that was disallowed. He's restrained by his teammates, and thank goodness, as the young lad was a little fired up. Who wouldn't be after what was undoubtedly the best game of this World Cup so far.

Post-game, Bradley tells Jeremy Schapp that he still doesn't know what Edu's goal was called back for. Shame, but the USA will just need to beat Algeria in their final game to move on, so things could be a lot worse. Overall, it was a much better second-half performance that will give everyone confidence heading into the final round of group games.

Thanks for tuning in today and don't forget to watch today's final game between England and Algeria at 2:30 pm ET. A draw would be the perfect result for the U.S., but England are by far the heavy favorites, and will want to establish themselves at the top of Group C with a convincing victory.

90+3 -- Dempsey steps on the ball and falls over, his face slamming into the turf. Somehow, he was still clamoring for a foul. This one's almost in the books, and what a game it's been.

90+1' -- Torres gets half a chance, but his shot is high and wide and the referee blows the whistle for a foul anyway.

89' -- Howard is livid as his defenders fail to close down and he has to punch away a long-range shot. I bet Bob Bradley wishes he could bring Onyewu back on.

88' - Phew! Ljubijankic gets open for a header, but his effort is right at Howard, and the goalie holds on as the U.S. fans breathe a huge sigh of relief.

85' -- Edu puts the ball in the back of the net off a Donovan free kick, but the referee blows his whistle and denies the goal. Not sure what the call was there, but replays showed nothing conclusive. This ref hasn't had his finest evening, that's for sure. Just ask Findley.

82' -- BRADLEY DOES IT!! 2-2!! A long ball into the box is headed down by Altidore and right into the path of Bradley, who pokes the ball high past Handanovic and into the back of the net. The U.S. fans in the stands are crying with joy as they've clawed their way back into this game. Unbelievable!

80' -- The Yanks are throwing their final card on the table here as striker Herkules Gomez comes on for defender Onyewu. Going to be a 3-4-3 for the rest of this one. Bradley then has a nice look from 25 yards, but it's an easy save for Handanovic in the end.

75' -- Jokic is the next Slovene in the book as he recklessly crashes into Donovan in the air from behind. 15 mins for the U.S. to produce something here.

72' -- Cherundolo beats Kirm to a ball in midfield and the Slovenian slides in

69' -- Altidore has Suler beat, but is clumsily clipped just inches outside of the box and Suler is handed the yellow. Donovan's low free kick is low and blocked, Dempsey appears to be fouled, and then the ball falls to Altidore. His drive from 16 yards is right into Handanovic's gut, though. Good chance, there.

63' - Only explanation I can find online is that the mountains in Slovenia are green, and also because both Serbia and Croatia wear red and white, they didn't want to be associated with their neighbors.

60' -- Trying to figure out why the Slovenian flag is red, white and blue, but the soccer team is white, green and yellow.

58' -- Altidore breaks away, but a solid tackle from Suler snuffs out the opportunity.

55' -- Those of you who were complaining about how boring the first round of group games were have to be impressed by these second-round contests. This is what the World Cup should look like!!

51' -- It's almost 2-2 as a Donovan free kick flicks off the top of Dempsey's head, and Onyewu is just inches away from finishing at the far post.

48' -- DONOVAN!! WHAT A GOAL!! Cherundolo hits a superb ball over the top that a sliding Slovenia defender can't get to, and that sends Donovan sprinting down the right. He cuts in unmolested and rockets an unstoppable shot from a tight angle past Handanovic. The ball almost took the goalie's head off! 2-1 Slovenia

46' -- We're back under way, and the U.S. have made two changes. Maurice Edu and Benny Feilhaber are on for Findley and Torres. Looks like Dempsey will push up front to replace Findley.

Halftime -- You can't deny Slovenia deserves the lead with the way the U.S. has played, but the 2-0 scoreline is a little flattering. But, it is what it is, and the U.S. better sort themselves out in the second half, otherwise they will have just one point from two games in South Africa.

42' -- GOAL! Just as it looks like the U.S. is starting to really get back into this one, Slovenia hits on the counterattack and Ljubijankic makes it 2-0 with a quality low finish past Howard. There was a hint of offside on the play, but it was way too close to call. Slovenia is now 48 minutes from becoming the first team to qualify for the round of 16. Amazing.

41' -- Here come the Yanks! Findley gets the ball on the right, and lays it off to a streaking Dempsey. His low cross through the six-yard box heads towards a waiting Donovan, but a Slovenian defender gets his foot in at the last moment to deny Donovan an easy goal.

39' -- A defensive mistake by Slovenia is almost punished by the U.S., but Findley's low pass from the left side of the box is cleared away for a corner. From the kick, a scramble in front of goal can't be put away, and the whistle blows for a free kick. Findley is called for a phantom handball and is inexplicably given a yellow card. He will now miss the Algeria game.

35' -- Altidore jinks past one defender on the right wing, but then Cesar kicks the forward, giving the U.S. a free kick in a dangerous position. Torres then whips in a nasty left-footed shot on goal from the set piece, but the aptly-named Handanovic dives to his left and palms the ball away. That was going to sneak inside the near post if he hadn't got to it. Good save.

33' -- This game has been pretty poor over the last 10 minutes, as both teams are struggling to get any kind of rhythm going.

31' -- Did you know that Donald Trump's wife, Melania Knauss, is from Slovenia? I didn't.

29' -- U.S. really hasn't threatened yet against this solid Slovenia defensive unit that gave up only four goals in qualifying.

26' -- Slovenia get a disputed corner, as the ball doesn't appear to actually cross the line, but the kick from the set piece is awful and the U.S. clears easily.

23' -- A looping Donovan cross from the left results in a little game of header volleyball in the Slovenian box, but the U.S. can't get the ball under control.

22' -- This game features the smallest and largest countries in the World Cup, population-wise.

18' -- Unlike Birsa, Bradley has trouble keeping the ball down and blasts a speculative effort over the bar from about 30 yards. U.S. fans shouldn't get worried yet, but this is another poor start.

13' -- GOAL!! Oh dear, 1-0 Slovenia. Birsa, from about 25 yards, gets too much space and cracks a wicked left-footed shot past a flat-footed Howard, who couldn't do much about that one.

9' -- For those interested, I'm told by my girlfriend, Andrea, that headache in Slovenian is 'glavobol'.

7' -- After a foul by Torres, Slovenia gets a dangerous free kick from their left wings, but Ljubijankic can only header it harmlessly high and away to the left of Howard's goal.

5' -- Findley goes streaking down the left and earns the U.S. their first corner of the game, but nothing comes of it. By the way, just like the first game, the U.S. are in navy blue with the diagonal white stripe. Like England were, Slovenia are in all white.

4' -- Donovan is playing on the left for now, but he often moves around all over the place. Speed kills, no matter where you put it.

1' -- Only a few seconds in and we have our first stoppage of the game as the bearded Dempsey uses his elbow to smack Ljubijankic on the left side of the temple going up for an aerial challenge. I'm not sure how to say 'headache' in Slovenian, but Ljubijankic surely has one at the moment.

1' -- And we're under way!

9:59 am -- The U.S. players with yellow cards are Cherundolo, Findley and Demerit. Another yellow today for any of those guys, and they're out for the final Algeria group game.

9:58 am -- Today's officials are all from Africa, with the referee hailing from Mali.

9:55 am -- Time for the anthems. Slovenia's colors are very Australian-like. Only maybe a quarter of the American team are singing their anthem, which is disappointing. Already have our first 'Dempsey looking surly' shot of the day. Some great Elvis impersonators in the crowd.

9:54 am -- While I can't tell you what the score will be today, I can guarantee I'll see the following during the contest: a vuvuzela, at least one shot blasted far over the bar, Clint Dempsey looking surly, Landon Donovan running fast, Oguchi Onyewu being physical and John Harkes saying something stupendously obvious.

9:50 am -- A win for the U.S. today wouldn't put them through, but would leave them likely needing only a tie in the final round of games to put into the knockout stage. Interestingly, with Germany's loss today, there's no guarantee that the second-place team in Group C will face the Germans in the round of 16. If Ghana beats Australia tomorrow, they'll be in the driver's seat for the Group D title.

9:46 am -- Here are your full lineups (have fun pronouncing these Slovenian names!)

Slovenia: 1-Samir Handanovic; 2-Miso Brecko, 4-Marko Suler, 5-Bostjan Cesar, 13-Bojan Jokic, 10-Valter Birsa, 8-Robert Koren, 18-Aleksandar Radosavljevic, 17-Andraz Kirm, 9-Zlatan Ljubijankic, 11-Milivoje Novakovic.

United States: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra; 10-Landon Donovan, 4-Michael Bradley, 16-Jose Torres, 8-Clint Dempsey; 17-Jozy Altidore, 20-Robbie Findley.

9:45 am -- Zlatan Ljubijankic will get the start for Slovenia after playing well in his team's opening 1-0 win over Algeria. A win here for the European side would put them through into the last 16 and leave England and the U.S. to fight it out for the final qualifying spot in Wednesday's third group games.

9:40 am -- Tim Howard's ribs might be a little sore today, but he's going to give it a go after taking a nasty knock from Emile Heskey in the England game. Howard will likely play another big part if the U.S. is going to pull out a victory.

9:34 am -- The only change for the U.S. side is Jose Torres in midfield for Ricardo Clark.

Category: Soccer
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