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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 June 2006, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Arena criticises penalty decision
USA coach Bruce Arena
Arena is disappointed the USA were trailing at half-time
United States coach Bruce Arena blamed the referee's decision to award Ghana a dubious penalty on the stroke of half-time for their 2-1 defeat.

Arena's side were heading into the break level before Markus Merk adjudged that Razak Pimpong had been pushed over in the area by defender Oguchi Onyewu.

Arena said: "We worked really hard to get back in the game. I am disappointed in the ref's judgment of the penalty.

"We would have liked to come out at half-time with a chance to win it."

Striker Brian McBride was also critical of the decision and felt his side were unlucky to come away without at least a point.

He said: "I've rarely seen something like that given."

The defeat meant that the USA finished bottom of Group E, with a solitary point, which was gained against Italy.

The Fulham forward added: "It was a strange game. I felt we were in control for quite some time. They had very few chances but the ones they did get they scored.

"We hit a post, we stuck together and tried to push forward.

"If we had just got that second goal there is no telling what would have happened."

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