Friday, June 18, 2010

18 June 1994 - The Yanks Get The Point

On 18 June 1994, the United States earned their first World Cup point since 1950 by drawing 1-1 with Switzerland in the opening match of the tournament. Played at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan, it was also the first World Cup match in history to be played indoors.

The US had earned their last World Cup points in 1950 with a shocking 1-0 upset of England. They were subsequently eliminated from that tournament with a loss to Chile, then failed to qualify for the competition until 1990, when they lost all three of their matches.

In 1994, the hosting US side appeared to be headed for another poor run after going down 0-1 in the first half with a 39th-minute free kick from veteran Swiss striker Georges Bregy. But right before the end of the half, the referee awarded the US a free kick after a foul by Swiss midfielder Ciriaco Sforza. Forward Eric Wynalda stepped up and fired the 28-yard kick over the wall and into the top near-side corner of the net for the equalizer.

The teams played to a stalemate for the remainder of the match, which finished 1-1. The US went on the earn an additional three points by defeating Colombia 2-1, but lost their remaining matches to Romania (0-1 in the group stage) and Brazil (1-0 in the first knockout round).

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