United States and Slovenia in 2-2 draw

Slovenia and the United States played out an exciting 2-2 draw in their second round Group C match of the 2010 World Cup on Saturday at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg.

Slovenia led 2-0 at half-time with goals to Walter Birsa and Zlatan Ljubijankic before the USA staged a wonderful second-half comeback with a brilliant Landon Donovan goal that was followed by an equaliser from Michael Bradley.

Slovenia now have four points from two games with the United States having just the two and the Americans facing a must win game against Nigeria in their final Group C match.

First Half
Zlatan Ljubijankic and Milivoje Novakovic both had chances for the Slovenians before the first half kicked into gear early with a 13th minute goal to Valter Birsa from a long range shot that found the back of the net to give Slovenia the lead.

The USA’s Michael Bradley then made his presence felt with a free kick that was parried away.

On 42 minutes Slovenia got the Americans on the break when Ljubijankic was on the end of a Novakovic effort and it was 2-0 at half-time to Slovenia.

First half rating (Out of 5): United States 3.0 – Slovenia 3.5

Second Half
Early in the second half Donavan was responsible for a brilliant angled goal from close to the right goal line and the United States were back in the game.

The Americans increased their intensity in the second-half and Slovenia were up to the challenge resulting in a very entertaining game.

Bradley got the equaliser on 80 minutes for the USA and they should have had a third goal a few moments later when Maurice Edu got on the end of a Donovan free kick to grab the winner, but the goal was not allowed after the referee signaled a foul that did not appear to be there.

In an excellent second half the game finished 2 goals apiece.

Second Half rating (Out of 5): United States 3.5 – Slovenia 3.0

Final Score

United States 2 – 2 Slovenia

13m Milan Jovanovic (Slo)
42m Zlatan Ljubijankic (Slo)
48m Landon Donovan (Usa)
82m Michael Bradley (Usa)

35m B. Cesar (Slo)
40m R. Findley (Usa)
69m M. Suler (Slo)
72m A. Kirm (Slo)
75m B. Jokic (Slo)

United States Starting 11
Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay Demerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, José Francisco Torres, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Robbie Findley

46m Benny Feilhaber for Jose Francisco Torres
46m Maurice Edu for Robbie Findley
80m Herculez Gomez for Oguchi Onyewu

Slovenia Starting 11
Samir Handanovic, Miso Brecko, Marko Suler, Bostjan Cesar, Bojan Jokic, Valter Birsa, Robert Koren, Aleksander Radosavljevic, Andraz Kirm, Zlatan Ljubijankic, Milivoje Novakovic

73m Nejc Pecnik for Zlatan Ljubijankic
87m Zlatko Dedic for Valter Birsa
90m Andrej Komac

Team Game Rating (out of 10): United States 6.5 – Slovenia 6.5

Match Thoughts

United States staged a great comeback in the second half to turn a 0-2 deficit into a 2-2 draw and if it wasn’t for the referee they would be sitting on 4 points and in a pretty good place.

As it is, they will have to beat Algeria to to have the best possible chance of going through to the next stage.

Slovenia had the game in their keeping after a 2 goal to zip first-half but they were unable to stem the United State’s efforts in the second-half and had to settle on just the one point.

The win would have seen Slovenia through to the next round and while they are in good shape with four points they are not guaranteed a  passage through yet, but a draw with England will do the job.

Filed Under: 2010 World Cup