World Cup 2022: USMNT’s Antonee Robinson blasts ‘terrible’ officiating after draw vs. Wales

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Al Rayyan, Qatar. As the American players made their way through the post-match interview area in the wee hours of Tuesday after a 1-1 draw with Wales in the first leg of the World Cup, varying degrees of disappointment showed on their faces. They also used this word, “disappointment”, with different adjectives before it and for different reasons. They were disappointed with the result, the game in the second half and the referees.

Not many players have mentioned them. But Anthony Robinson said “the refereeing was terrible” and he had one particular remark that he thought “cost us the game”.

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He also told the assistant referee about this. As the nine American players sullenly returned to the center circle after Gareth Bale’s penalty, Robinson headed for the corner in a rage. He felt that moments before the Wales throw-in that resulted in a penalty, the ball had actually gone out of bounds for the USA.

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“Unless the replay shows otherwise, it was clearly not in the game,” Robinson said.

The camera angle from the broadcast was inconclusive. Wales striker Brennan Johnson barely saved the ball from crossing the baseline. He then reached out to keep him on the touchline and Robinson’s arm immediately went up in the air, a universal end, our ball signal.

A couple of hundred feet away, US team head coach Gregg Berhalter saw the same thing.

“I mean, I’m on the touchline, I’m looking at the touchline and I’m sure the ball went out of bounds. I’m sure,” he said at the post-match press conference. – Also by a wide margin. I was very surprised that he was not named. But what is, is.”

If it had hit the gate directly, VAR could have looked it over. But VAR rules distinguish between the “phase of the game” that results in a goal or a penalty kick, and the previous phases of the game. Seven seconds into the controversial out-of-bounds call, the ball definitely came out from under the American player, thus ending that phase of the game and putting an end to hopes of any revision.

Most of the players looked inside themselves to find the reasons why the USA missed two points on Monday, and Berhalter and Robinson did the same.

“We were soaking up the pressure and some might say [the goal] approached,” Robinson admitted.

“Nevertheless,” he concluded, “the fact that it comes down to something that is not in our hands is very disappointing.”

Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim (left) speaks to USA No. 05 defender Anthony Robinson during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group B football game between the USA and Wales at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, west of Doha, November .  December 21, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
USMNT’s Anthony Robinson was unhappy with the refereeing during Monday’s match against Wales at the World Cup. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)


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