IRENE, South Africa The U.S. is moving on, with no way to appeal the disallowed goal that would have given the Americans a lead in their 2-2 World Cup tie against Slovenia.
Referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali called off an apparent goal by Maurice Edu off Landon Donovans free kick in the 85th minute Friday . The U.S. already had rallied from a two-goal deficit.
There is no process for appeals for a decision on the field, team spokesman Michael Kammarman said Saturday. We have not asked for any official comment from FIFA in regards to the call.
Players asked Coulibaly repeatedly why he whistled off the goal. Speculation has ranged from a possible foul on American captain Carlos Bocanegra, who had an arm around Nejc Pecnik, and one on Clint Dempsey, who pushed Andraz Kirm.
Looking at the replay, more Slovenes were holding Americans than vice versa. Aleksandar Radosavljevic held Michael Bradley in a bear hug.
Bradley had his own theory: Coulibaly might have regretted his decision to award the free kick. Valter Birsa had been called for a foul on Steve Cherundolo.
I think its a good goal, first. I think the only things really that could be called would be penalty kicks for us, coach Bob Bradley said. There are times when a referee, for whatever reason, blows a foul and now thinks either he didnt make the correct call on the foul or from a previous play, and then literally as soon as the free kicks taken, he blows his whistle, OK?
So you can speculate all you want about which guy and everything, I think its a waste of time. All right? I think there was nothing there. I think its a good goal. And thats that.
FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said the governing body would not discuss Coulibalys performance prior to a scheduled session Monday, when the 30 World Cup officials and members of the FIFA Referees Committee will meet with the media.
The U.S. team has been besieged with questions why soccer referees dont publicly explain controversial decisions, as umpires and referees do in U.S. sports.
Were all accustomed to the fact that if its an NFL playoff game and theres a call thats in question, there will be a statement by the league from the referees, but FIFA operates differently, Bradley said. There are some aspects of it that are not made 100 percent clear. That seems to add to the discussion about the game.
The U.S. would advance from the group phase if it beats Algeria on Wednesday or with a tie as long as England loses to Slovenia. If the U.S. and England both draw, the Americans would advance if they maintain their goal advantage over the English, currently 3-1.
But if England draws and scores two more goals than the U.S. does in the final game, the United States and England would finish even on all tiebreakers. FIFA would conduct a drawing of lots its unclear whether that means a coin flip or another method to determine which team goes to the second round.