Mark Geiger, an American referee, had the honor of being selected to officiate at the FIFA 2014 World Cup held in Brazil. Geiger, a high school math teacher from New Jersey, was the first referee from the United States to be selected to officiate at the tournament.
Geiger's first match at the World Cup was between Colombia and Greece, which was played at the Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte. The match ended 3-0 in favor of Colombia, with Geiger making some good decisions throughout the game. His performance in this match impressed both the players and the fans.
However, Geiger's most memorable match at the World Cup was the Round of 16 match between Mexico and the Netherlands, which was played at the Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza. The match was a tense encounter, with Mexico leading 1-0 heading into the final stages of the game. However, in the 88th minute, Geiger awarded a controversial penalty to the Netherlands, which allowed them to equalize. The Dutch went on to score another goal in injury time and win the match 2-1.
Geiger's decision to award the penalty was widely criticized by the Mexican players and fans, who felt that the decision was harsh and unfair. However, replays showed that the decision was correct, as Mexican defender Rafael Márquez had pulled the shirt of Dutch forward Arjen Robben in the penalty area.
Despite the controversy, Geiger's overall performance at the World Cup was commendable. He was one of the few referees who managed to officiate at more than one match, with his final match being the quarterfinal match between Argentina and Belgium.
Geiger's selection for the World Cup was a significant achievement for American soccer, as it highlighted the progress that the sport has made in the country. Geiger's performance also demonstrated that referees from outside of Europe and South America can hold their own at the highest level of international football.
In conclusion, Mark Geiger's performance as a referee at the FIFA 2014 World Cup was impressive. While he was involved in a controversial decision, his overall performance was good, and he proved that American referees can compete with the best in the world.