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Koller, Rosicky lead Czechs to 3-0 World Cup rout of Americans.

With stakes high, U.S. comes out flat and is thrashed by Czechs.

With stakes high, U.S. comes out flat and is thrashed by Czechs.

Visit to Hamburg City Hall follows easy day of training.

Americans again have trouble scoring, but McBride finishes Latvia.

U.S. reserves have little difficulty in disposing of Venezuela.

Knee injury shelves Gibbs, Berhalter joins World Cup effort; Reyna appears OK.

Americans have causes for concern after loss to Morocco.

Reyna, Keller are each named to their fourth World Cup team.

Poor U.S. effort leads to disappointing 1-1 draw with Jamaica.

Donovan becomes leader in career assists as U.S. draws 1-1 with Jamaica.

U.S. defense collapses, Germany hands rout to depleted Americans.

Hejduk has strained hamstring, is replaced by Feilhaber on roster for Germany match.

Donovan scratched for game against Germany with calf ailment.

Dempsey dropped from Germany roster after suspension by Revs for fight.

Gulati is acclaimed new USSF president; board size is slashed.

Three games in May are scheduled as final World Cup prep.

U.S. game against Jamaica in Cary, N.C., sells out quickly.

Twellman's hustle sets up Dempsey's opportunistic header to beat Poland 1-0.

U.S. victory over Poland is welcome, but not particularly satisfying.

Arena selections for Poland game give hints of World Cup roster.

X-rays of Pope's hand are negative; he will face Italy.

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  • World Cup television schedule.
  • World Cup standings, schedule, results.
  • Analysis: U.S. World Cup hopes get boost from heroic 1-1 draw with Italy.

    U.S. men

    Without a shot on goal, Americans manage 1-1 World Cup draw with Italy.

    KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany (Saturday, June 17, 2006) -- The United States men accomplished a rare feat tonight. They did not manage a shot on frame, but scored a goal.

    Using an own goal as the equalizer, the U.S. drew 1-1 with Italy in a brave performance under bizarre conditions in a World Cup Group E match before 48,000 at Fritz-Walter Stadion. While the U.S. had a man advantage for 17 minutes in the first half, it was reduced to nine men and were a man short for virtually the entire second half.

    The American defense rose to the occasion, with Italy getting only two shots on goal with the extra man. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller made sensational saves on both of those and the U.S. chances of advancing to the second round improved greatly with the tie.

    "I thought we were the better team on the night," U.S. manager Bruce Arena said. "We had a fantastic first half and certainly to get two red cards within a span of, probably, five minutes was very difficult. Not many teams would hold their composure. I thought we did a great job there and I'm really proud of the team. That's the kind of team the U.S. should be putting on the field and the kind of effort we should have."

    While the U.S. would have been mathematically alive even with a loss, the one point in the standings, gave the Americans a plausible possibility of finishing second and moving ahead to the Round of 16. Simply, if the U.S. can defeat Ghana Thursday, while Italy downs the Czech Republic, Italy would win Group E and the Americans would be second with both advancing.

    All other scenarios of the U.S. advancing are improbable:

  • The U.S. defeats Ghana by four goals, Italy ties the Czech Republic with the U.S. scoring three or more goals than the Czechs.
  • The U.S. defeats Ghana by five or more goals, Italy ties the Czech Republic.
  • The U.S. defeats Ghana, the Czech Republic defeats Italy and the combined margins of victory are five goals, and the U.S. outscores Italy by three of more goals.
  • The U.S. defeats Ghana, the Czech Republic defeats Italy and the combined margins of victory are six or more goals.

    Both Group E finales will be played Thursday at 10 a.m. (ET). The U.S. (0-1-1, 1 point) will face Ghana (1-1, 3) in Nuremberg, televised by ESPN, while Italy (1-0-1, 4) takes on the Czech Republic (1-1, 3) on ESPN2. Both will be shown on Spanish-language Univision.

    "We thought from the beginning, we told our team, that this group would go down to the last day," Arena said. "Our challenge is to try to get four points and see where that takes us. I thought our effort today was fantastic. I'm proud of the way my team kept their composure and got the one point."

    While the U.S. will be without Pope and Mastroeni against Ghana, both suspended for their red cards, Ghana will be missing both goal-scorers from today's 2-0 upset of the Czech Republic. Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari both will sit for yellow-card accumulation after each receiving their second caution.

    At one point, things were looking good for the Americans, as if luck decided to smile on them. A minute after Christian Zaccardo booted an attempted clearance into his own net to pull the U.S. even at 1-1, Italy midfielder Daniele DeRossi for throwing an elbow that opened a gash on U.S. striker Brian McBride's left cheek.

    "I was fighting for position and we must have bumped," De Rossi said. "I'm not sure what happened then."

    The Americans had a 11-on-10 advantage for 17 minutes before Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda irrevocably changed the course of the match. In the 45th minute, he sent U.S. midfielder Pablo Mastroeni with a red card for a two-footed, cleats-up slide tackle into the ankle of Andrea Pirlo. Then, two minutes after the halftime break, U.S. defender Eddie Pope was banished with a second yellow card for another sliding tackle, from behind, on midfielder Alberto Gilardino.

    " I don't think it was a fair red card, that was pretty harsh," Pope said.

    Suddenly, instead of pressing for the victory, the shorthanded Americans were left to courageously defend the draw. While the remaining players were left to expend every ounce of energy on defense, Keller made a pair of great saves to preserve the tie.

    "It's a nice result, we fought hard with nine men," U.S. right defender Steve Cherundolo. "If we had 10, we could have won it. We stayed close and compact, and communicated well tonight. Italy chose not to challenge on the outside, so it helped for us to stay organized."

    In the 73rd minute, Pirlo chipped the ball into the penalty area for midfield mate Alessandro del Piero. In an acrobatic move, del Piero, turned sideways facing to his right, used the outside of his left foot to flick a shot from 10 yards out toward the left corner of the net. Keller went flying and batted the ball away with his right arm.

    Six minutes later, he again denied del Piero, this time from long range, moving to his left and swatting a dipping 30-yard drive far to his left.

    "I can't say enough about the guys in front of me," Keller said. "They're dead (tired) out there, they've given everything. It would have been a shame to concede a goal late, but we stuck in this thing. We're in this tournament and we have a good chance now. Of course, we wanted three points, but the point in these circumstances is phenomenal."

    "Everything was going against us today. What can you say? This team has the spirit and can come back from a three-nil loss (Monday against the Czech Republic). We showed that today. We were unlucky not to win this game, even with nine guys."

    The undermanned Americans briefly thought they had a lead when reserve midfielder DaMarcus Bealsey put a hard roller into the net in the 65th minute, but the goal was waved off for an offside call. McBride was in an offside position when he obstructed Buffon on the shot.

    Italy took a 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute after Mastroeni fouled Francesco Totti about 30 yards out. From the right side, Zaccardo curled a ball that Gilardino put away with a diving header. Pope lost Gilardino, apparently trying to trap him offside, but his teammates did not comply, leaving Gilardino onside.

    Five minutes later the U.S. equalized at 1-1. Zaccardo tried a side-winding clearance of U.S. midfielder Bobby Convey's left-side free kick deep in the box, but instead tucked the ball into the corner of his own net to right of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who did not move.

    Notes: Three Americans made their World Cup debuts: left defender Carlos Bocanegra, right midfielder Clint Dempsey and reserve defender Jimmy Conrad.

    The U.S. is now 0-3-3 vs. Italy all time, 0-2-1 in the World Cup play. The has an overall 6-15-3 record in the World Cup, 0-8-1 in games played in Europe. Under Arena, the Americans are 2-3-2 in the Cup.


    United States 1, Italy 1

    Lineups: Italy - Gianluigi Buffon, Cristian Zaccardo (Alessandro del Piero 54), Fabio Cannavaro (captain), Alessandro Nesta, Gianluca Zambrotto, Daniele de Rossi, Simone Perrotta, Andrea Pirlo, Francesco Totti (Gennaro Gattuso 35), Alberto Gilardino, Luca Toni (Vincenzo Iaquinta 61). United States - Kasey Keller, Steve Cherundolo, Eddie Pope, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Pablo Mastroeni, Clint Dempsey (DaMarcus Beasley 62), Claudio Reyna (captain), Bobby Convey (Jimmy Conrad 52), Landon Donovan, Brian McBride.

    Scoring:
    Italy - Gilardino (Zaccardo) 22.
    United States - own goal (Zaccardo) 27.

    Shots: Italy 8, United States 10. Saves: Italy 0, United States 2. Corner kicks: Italy 7, United States 3. Fouls: Italy 13, United States 24. Offside: Italy 11, United States 1 Yellow card cautions: Italy - Totti 5, Zambrotta 70; United States - Pope 21. Red card ejections: Italy - De Rossi 28; United States - Mastroeni 45, Pope (second yellow card) 47.

    Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay). Assistant referees: Walter Rial (Uruguay), Pablo Fandino (Uruguay). Fourth official: Khalil Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia). Attendance: 46,000 at Fritz-Walter Stadion in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Weather: 70 degrees, clear.

    This story was compiled by SoccerTimes publisher and managing editor Gary Davidson from reports by senior correspondent Robert Wagman and European correspondent Chris Courtney, both in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

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