The match started extremely well with Birsa scoring a wonderful goal from about 20 metres. I was expecting an improved display, and indeed it was, but I was astonished at how bad Americans played in the first half. Rarely have I been so disappointed by one team's performance, and besides the 10-minute spell at the end or the half they were nowhere on the field. Slovenia took advantage of that and went in the dressing room with a 2-0 advantage, although the second goal came against the run of play.
Americans came back better, with Donovan scoring immediately. They had more chances in this second half and were better in air battles and speed. And Michael Bradley, son of their coach scored, with Donovan playing a large part in it (and the final assist came from Altidore). And I admit, Edu's goal should stand. I don't think anybody knows why was it disallowed. But Slovenia deserved at least a draw, and it's very disappointing to come so close to victory and progress to the knockout rounds only to be denied at last.
However, I must say how proud I am of the team's display today. I told you that the match with Algeria didn't show our true shape. Today's Slovenia was the team that saw off Poland, Slovakia and Russia in quick succession. We finally showed the world we can play, and play well. Our passing game was back, and we controlled the game much more than I thought we would. A draw against USA is actually a good result. They are a team that are ranked 14th in the world and were clearly favourites before the kick-off. Overall, I would say that USA have played worse than I predicted and Slovenia played better than expected.
But Bradley's equaliser now puts us in a tricky situation. USA are likely to beat Algeria (and so will England), which means we will most probably have to beat and eliminate England, something that would be one of the biggest miracles in a few recent decades. A draw will probably not be enough, as both other teams will probably beat Algeria by more than one goal, or score more goals in a tight win. So it's a big opportunity missed, although I'm still proud of my team and they will be greeted as heroes on their return home, regardless of result against England. At least they scared the hell out of a nation that has 154 times more inhabitants than ours.
Slovenia 2 - 2 USA
So now I pray for Algeria to make a surprise at (at least) one of their remaning matches, although that's unlikely. The deciding match shall be the one against the English, and the fact that the runner-up could meet Germany next will surely add spice to the encounter.
And one more thing: I noticed that USA really can't play dominantly. They are made for the kind of matches that we saw against England: defending and scoring on fast breaks. That's why they struggle as the favourites: they can't play with possession, with the ball at their feet. Instead, they rush forward, which isn't always the best option. But they're also very good in dead-ball situations (especially Donovan), crosses and air battles, which all helped them to secure one point this day. But nothing more.