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Referee Jacqui Melksham Made Several Controversial Calls that Almost Cost U.S.

Australian soccer referee Jacqui Melksham was one minute and a spectacular goal from becoming one of the most notorious sporting officials in U.S. soccer history. Melksham made a series of controversial calls in the U.S.-Brazil World Cup quarterfinal game, most of which went against the U.S. She was bailed out after the U.S. came back to win 5-3 on penalty kicks.

In the 65th minute, Melksham gave Rachel Buehler a red card for taking down Marta. The send off put the U.S. a woman down for almost half the match. Then on the penalty kick, Hope Solo stoned Cristiane. The problem is Melksham decided there was encroachment before the kick, so she gave Brazil a second shot (watch video of the sequence). Marta converted on the second chance to tie the game. But that wasn’t all.

Melksham (and all the refs) missed that Maurine was offside on Marta’s second goal that made it 2-1. And as Grant Wahl points out, she missed a second hand ball by Carli Lloyd that should have gone against the U.S.

Melksham was atrocious in this match. Given the poor reputation FIFA has amassed for match fixing scandals, bribery, lack of instant replay, and missed calls, have a bad ref shouldn’t come as a surprise. She is just extremely ucky that the U.S. won otherwise she’d be notorious.


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  • Anonymous

    That ref was ragging all day.  Did you see how she stopped play to lecture the players over and over?  The brazilians were thunderstruck that buying the referee wasn’t enough to win!

  • Anonymous

    is this officially a sport now?

  • Anonymous

    why is Melksham not barred for life from ever refereeing any game other than kindergarderners football after she tried to cheat the USA of a win– in spite of which the US kicked Brazils ass !!!!!!!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ON2Q3PFLNA6D7X45KFWMIQOTVY Eric Z

    No

  • Anonymous

    This sounds like the perfect event for Jim Joyce.  I wanna see him cry again.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2TX6Q4S3NXJU7TZ2JHI4UCARB4 billthethill

    Melksham she suck FiFa have to fire her

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_436T4HCIEO45KBLUOJ7A45YE3M Frank Mariani

    She Ruined the Match —

                Interfered Too much. Go Home , Lady !!!

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    If it’s on ESPN, it’s a sport

  • Anonymous

    The USA women are just a disgraceful bunch of dumb slappers .How can any idiot say it is a never say die attitude when a lucky long ball results in a goal. A bunch of classless women -  witness the last world cup when these losers (thoroughly outclassed by Brazil again) had the temerity to actively cheer for Germany in the stadium against Brazil in the final like a bunch of thuggish morons.
    In any sport what kind of people would have such a lack of respect as that?
    The Brazilians had more heart, miles more technique and skill than the flat footed male-like USA team. Sure if it was a belching contest or intimidating the referee or shouting contest than the USA women win hands down, but pure football it is an absolute disgrace that Brazil didn’t go through.

  • Anonymous

    She’s Australian.  You know, Australians always want to go after the Americans.  I guess this is jealosy between seblings.  Get over it Australians!!!!

  • Dane Thomas

    Technique and skill I’ll give you, and that should have been enough for Brazil to win, but you didn’t see the US players flopping like rag dolls, faking muscle cramps, being taken off the field on a stretcher just to jump off and run back around to play. The US had every right to pout and feel like they were 10 playing against 12, but they stuck with it, came back and won. They showed more heart.

  • Jaegan Williams

    I’d take a lucky long ball over an erroneously granted re-kick and an overlooked offside goal any day.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, that was a lucky long ball.  The skill and difficulty in completing a goal like that final goal requires a huge amount of skill and a little bit of luck in following a clear path into the goal.  If you have ever played soccer you would know understand how difficult that shot was and how few and far between they are.  Never in World Cup history has a goal been made that far back on the left side.  Just because an extremely difficult goal is made, its all luck.  Sounds like someone is just butt hurt that Americans are actually good at football – I’m assuming you are English.  Stop your whining, baby.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, that was a lucky long ball.  The skill and difficulty in
    completing a goal like that final goal requires a huge amount of skill
    and a little bit of luck in following a clear path into the goal.  If
    you have ever played soccer you would know understand how difficult that
    shot was and how few and far between they are.  Never in World Cup
    history has a goal been made that far back on the left side.  Just
    because an extremely difficult goal is made, its all luck.  Sounds like
    someone is just butt hurt that Americans are actually good at football -
    I’m assuming you are English.  Stop your whining, baby. 

  • Anonymous

    I agree, that was a lucky long ball.  The skill and difficulty in
    completing a goal like that final goal requires a huge amount of skill
    and a little bit of luck in following a clear path into the goal.  If
    you have ever played soccer you would know understand how difficult that
    shot was and how few and far between they are.  Never in World Cup
    history has a goal been made that far back on the left side.  Just
    because an extremely difficult goal is made, its all luck.  Sounds like
    someone is just butt hurt that Americans are actually good at football -
    I’m assuming you are English.  Stop your whining, baby. 

  • Anonymous

    Wow, sounds like someone has a personal vendetta against American women – only because your comment is so clearly biased and irrational.  What else is going on?  Get over it buddy, that American bird, she just wasn’t that into you.  Its amazing you think that Brazil was so much better – even after a bunch of b.s. calls in their favor and after having more men on the field for nearly half the game.  Marta is awesome but the rest of them were not very memorable – oh, except for the dumb slapper drama queens trying to run the clock out.  Shame on them, and thanks to them, the U.S. women had enough time to pull off one of the most amazing goals in women’s world cup history.  

  • Anonymous

    You’re an idiot!

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree with you.  Given the bribes in professional sports in general and the bribery accusations about FIFA management in particular, it’s very plausible that World Cup level referee selection is not completely on the up and up which creates great potential for biased judgment.   However, I think Kirsi Heikkinen and Etsuko Fukano have been fair and exercised due control.  

  • Anonymous

    You dumb idiot- anybody with an ounce of intelligence would have crossed to the UNMARKED attackers in the penalty box you spaz!

  • Anonymous

    You complete moron- the crossing was completely woeful from her throughout the game, if you had ever played soccer (which you haven’t you idiot) then anybody with a brain cell would have passed to one of the 2 unmarked attackers running into space- not the one with 4 players around her and rely on stupid goalkeeping for the goal to occur- seriously dumb muppets such as yourself really should pay more attention at the next soccer game you see.

  • http://twitter.com/161726283647 Josiah Longknife

    Did some of you actually see the same match as I?  To characterize the American side as a bunch of “dumb slappers” is moronic.  Yes, any time a flawless pass and a perfect header are combined to score a goal, there is some luck; but, winners tend to create luck.  After the cup loss in 2007, the American side was required to cheer for Brazil against Germany in the finals, why? 

  • http://twitter.com/161726283647 Josiah Longknife

    Did some of you actually see the same match as I?  To characterize the American side as a bunch of “dumb slappers” is moronic.  Yes, any time a flawless pass and a perfect header are combined to score a goal, there is some luck; but, winners tend to create luck.  After the cup loss in 2007, the American side was required to cheer for Brazil against Germany in the finals, why? 

  • Anonymous

    Haha, sooo serious.  You should get a job.

  • Anonymous

    Shoulda, coulda, woulda – why??  They made the goal so why should they have done something different?  You are silly and nonsensical and very entertaining – keep it up we can literally see the smoke coming out of your ears!