Almost always when a ref makes a mistake it's a missed offsides or an unseen handball. It's what's not seen that gets the official in trouble (Diego Maradona's Hand of God and Thierry Henry's dubious work immediately come to mind). But in the US game the ref didn't miss anything. What he called, what he saw, didn't exist. It's hard to understand how that could happen.
But forget the ref. The real loser was the fans:
Understand: This was Nolan Ryan’s seventh no-hitter. This was Jerry West’s 60-foot shot. This was Montana to Clark in the end zone. This was Bobby Orr’s flying goal. This was the young Tiger Woods at Augusta. This was all those things multiplied several times, because this was happening on the giant stage, in the world’s biggest sporting event. A team does not come back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to win in the World Cup. It doesn’t happen. It had NEVER happened. In soccer at the World Cup level — with its impossible mix of passion and fury and consequence and vuvuzelas — each goal is a minor miracle. Two goals is basically insurmountable, especially when a team has shut you out for an entire half.