101 Most Memorable Moments of the World Cup: USMNT robbed in semifinals
Through Doug McIntyre
FOX Sports Soccer Writer
Editor’s note: Every day until the kick-off of the first game of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on November 20th we will unveil another memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with the USMNT’s controversial result against Germany in 2002.
That United States Men’s National Team was powerful everywhere Germany in the quarter-finals in Ulsan, South Korea, before finally losing to a first-half goal from Michael Ballack. But had it not been for a controversial no-call, the Americans could have upset the then three-time world champion.
As the USA furiously pushed for an equalizer in the second half, centre-back (and current USMNT coach) Gregg Berhalter got a boot from a Claudio Reyna corner kick and deflected a shot towards the German net. The shot hit keeper Oliver Kahn but missed the arm of defender Torsten Frings, who prevented the ball from crossing the goal line. The Americans begged referee Hugh Dallas to give Frings a red card and award them a penalty; Had they converted, the game would have been a tie and the Bruce Arena side would have been one man for the remainder of the game plus overtime.
However, the Scottish official was unperturbed. Without VAR, the decision was on the field, and that’s where USA’s run ended. It was the country’s best performance since the first World Cup in 1930, but two decades later, US fans are still wondering how far they would have gone if Dallas hadn’t surrendered.
Handball no call
The USMNT were robbed against Germany after the referee missed a crucial handball.
Doug McIntyre, one of North America’s leading football journalists, has covered the United States men’s and women’s national teams at several FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer at ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @By DougMcIntyre.
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