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Slovenia vs USA – Group C in balance after thrilling 2-2 draw

| 18.06.2010

The USA came from two goals down to draw with Slovenia and rescue their World Cup hopes in the game of the tournament so far.

But Bob Bradley’s team will be ruing a refereeing decision which cost them all three points and a more assured passage out of Group C.

Substitute Maurice Edu thought he had won it for his country with a last-minute volley but Koman Coulibaly unfathomably blew for a foul against the Americans.

Valter Birsa had earlier put the Slovenians into a surprise lead with a fabulous left-footed strike from distance.

And Zlatan Ljubijankic looked to have confirmed the win Slovenia needed to secure progression with a cool finish from Milivoje Novakovic’s perfectly-timed pass.

The Europeans seemed much improved from their 1-0 win over Algeria with Birsa in particular demonstrating quick feet and putting in a few great deliveries.

USA boss Bradley made two changes at half-time, bringing on Edu and Benny Feilhaber and his side looked more threatening straight away.

Within five minutes of the restart Landon Donovan got his team back into it, capitalising on a slip by left-back Bojan Jokic and lashing a shot past an uncertain Samir Handanovic.

And with eight minutes left Michael Bradley ran onto a knock down by Jozy Altidore to smash home an equaliser on the half volley.

The result leaves Group A in the balance. Slovenia are currently top but will go home if England win their two games and USA beat Algeria.

On this evidence Matjaz Kek’s team will give England a tough ride though, looking impressive in possession and going forward. Defensively they look susceptible however, particularly to balls over the top.

USA realistically must beat Algeria in their final match to have any qualification hope but will have Robbie Findley missing after the midfielder was booked in the first half.

Who will make it out of Group C? Much depends on tonight’s England v Algeria match.



John Klee