Czech Republic routs USA, 3-0 | SummitDaily.com
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Czech Republic routs USA, 3-0

Czech Republic's Tomas Rosicky, left, holds back USA defender Claudio Reyna during the World Cup, Group E soccer match between United States and the Czech Republic, at the Gelsenkirchen stadium, Germany, Monday, June 12, 2006. The Czech Republic won 3-0 and Rosicky scored twice. The other teams in Group E are Italy and Ghana. (AP Photo/Mark J.Terrill) MOBILE/PDA USAGE OUT
AP | AP

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany The United States looked like a bewildered World Cup newcomer again.The Americans didnt just lose Monday night, they were routed, roughed up and run over by the Czech Republic, a 3-0 crusher that put the Americans in danger of first-round elimination.I think the players as well as coaches are a bit shocked right now, defender Eddie Lewis said.Jan Koller, the Czech Republics 6-foot-7 1/2 forward, scored just five minutes in, and Tomas Rosicky added goals in the 36th and 76th minutes.The United States managed just one shot on goal and showed little of the spark that earned it an opening 3-2 upset over Portugal four years ago, when it advanced to the quarterfinals in Americas best showing since 1930.We didnt play well. We didnt compete. We didnt make the plays, said goalkeeper Kasey Keller said, one of many U.S. players criticized by coach Bruce Arena. It was just a shame. We definitely gave the game away, and thats what were frustrated about.Landon Donovan and Brian McBride, the two U.S. forwards, didnt even have any shots at all, and DaMarcus Beasley managed just one.Arena rarely criticizes players publicly, but with a look of exasperation on his face, he didnt hold back.Landon showed no aggressiveness tonight, Arena said. We got nothing out of Beasley on the night.He said Bobby Convey, who made his World Cup debut, was one of the few Americans who had the courage to attack.Donovan and Beasley were surprise sensations four years ago, when they were just 20, but they were marked men.They swarmed them, U.S. captain Claudio Reyna said.The Americans got a pregame pep talk from President Bush, who called from Camp David and wished them well. But they undoubtedly disappointed millions back home and certainly the 5,000 or so fans who made the trek overseas, falling to 0-8 in Europe in World Cup play, getting outscored 24-4.It could get worse. The Americans next play Saturday against three-time champion Italy, which opened with a 2-0 win over Ghana.We all have to learn quick, especially the young guys, Reyna said. We cant wait months or years to get better. We have to get better quickly, and I think we can do that.In the last two World Cups, the only team to advance from the first round after losing its opener was Turkey, in 2002.Its going to be hard, but its not over, Donovan said.Reyna said the mind-set must change.Everyone has to be brave and want the ball, he said. We didnt have guys aggressive enough.Four years ago, the United States broke on top in its opener against Portugal in the fourth minute. This time, it was the Americans who fell behind quickly.Australia 3, Japan 1KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany Tim Cahill scored in the 84th and 89th minutes Monday and John Aloisi got a goal in injury time as Australia shocked Japan.The Aussies didnt appear capable of even tying the game after falling behind in the first half. But Cahill equalized when he picked up a loose ball off a throw-in and beat Japan goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi with a right-footed shot in the 84th minute. Kawaguchi erred in coming out of his net.Five minutes later, with the Japanese clearly off-balance, Cahill scored from 20 yards with a right-footed shot that went in off the goalpost.Although the stunned Japanese pushed up for a second goal, it was Australias Aloisi who found the net in the final seconds from 15 yards after snaking through the defense. Italy 2, Ghana 0HANOVER, Germany Andrea Pirlo, a player identified by Ghana as someone it needed to stop, scored in the 40th minute, and Vincenzo Iaquinta added a goal in the 83rd as Italy beat Ghana.Pirlos shot from 22 yards sneaked through a maze of bodies and into the corner of the net, one of many opportunities for both teams in an entertaining match. Ghana fell just short on a number of scoring chances and showed itself worthy of playing in its first World Cup.The win may have been costly for Italy. Key playmaker Francesco Totti exited the game after apparently reinjuring his surgically repaired left leg in the second half. His status for Saturdays game with the United States is uncertain.


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