Colombia Vs. USA
Teofilo Gutierrez (R) of Colombia out jumps Julian Green of the U.S. to score during their international friendly soccer match at Craven Cottage, London, November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

The sport of soccer is often wrought with controversy, and with instant replay implemented now in all four major sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB), it’s a surprise that FIFA has not tried to do more to take referee mistakes out of the game, but that is an argument for another day. There were three questionable calls made on Friday when the United States took on Colombia in London and all three changed the course of the game.

Teofilo “Teo” Gutierrez headed in the game winning goal in the 87th minute to complete the Colombian comeback 2-1 over the United States at Craven Cottage in the United Kingdom. Jozy Altidore scored on a penalty kick in the 10th minute to give the United States a 1-0 lead, but it was Colombia’s first goal of the game in the 61st minute that had everyone talking.

The United States were playing with a makeshift lineup on Friday as many of their stalwarts were still competing in the MLS Cup playoffs. LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez and Seattle Sounders striker Clint Dempsey, were noticeably absent for the match, but Dempsey’s teammate, DeAndre Yedlin, decided to make the trip to England.

There were a few questionable calls in the match, one for example was a handball against Los Cafeteros in the first half that gave the U.S. a penalty shot and a one goal lead. At the end of the first half, it appeared the Americans committed a handball penalty of their own, but the referee’s did not call it. The most controversial call of the match and one that will have people talking tomorrow was an onsides ruling in the 60th minute.

Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez sent a ball through into the box where Colombia’s Teo Guiterrez was clearly in an offsides position. As you can see in the video below, almost all of the United States defenders stopped playing as they believed the flag was up. However, as the rule is written, Guiterrez has to touch the ball in order for the offsides call to be made, and he wisely avoids the ball and allows Carlos Bacca to come in from behind him and score the goal. By rule, the goal is good, but it was certainly a questionable call.

Craven Cottage looked more like Medellin on Friday as the EPL stadium in Fulham was filled with Colombian fans. It was a sea of yellow around the pitch for the United States who were severely outnumbered in the fans department. The crowd cheered every time Rodriguez touched the ball and went into a frenzy when Guiterrez headed in the winning goal. All in all, team USA was severely outplayed throughout the match and did not deserve to win, however, with three potentially controversial and game changing calls made in this match, I think it’s time for FIFA to look at quick instant replays to decide the correct calls in games.

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