BEIJING (AP) Top-ranked Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States beat Eric Koreng and David Klemperer 21-13, 25-23 Monday in the quarterfinals of the beach volleyball after the Germans were contentiously penalized a point for delay of game in the second set.
The Germans had just lost the first set without much of a struggle and blown a 6-2 lead in the second when out came the red card.
Koreng was booked for delay of game - a one-point penalty - after arguing a call that allowed the Americans to tie the second set. That gave Dalhausser and Rogers a 9-8 lead before they went on to win the set by two points and earn a spot in the Olympic final four.
"I didn't like it," Rogers said. "In a situation like this, a heated contest ... it's just not the right thing."
Although he was the beneficiary, no one seemed more upset about it than Rogers, who ambled over to referee Richard Casutt's net-side platform, shaking his head.
"I said, 'I thought that's a little quick,'" Rogers said. "Just a little quick on the draw."
Koreng had gone to the referee to claim that Dalhausser had reached over the net to steal away a set on the German side. He drew a yellow card, and then a few seconds later Casutt raised the red card that added a point for the Americans.
"They were a little frustrated with themselves, and they were taking it out on the ref," Rogers said.
The Americans will play on Wednesday against surprise semifinalist Georgia, which beat the fifth-seeded Netherlands in straight sets.
After winning 21-19, 21-19, Jorge Terceiro leapt over the fence surrounding the court and bounded through the stands to the top of the stadium, where he stood under the Georgian flag with his arms raised above his head like Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
"I remember this 'Rocky,'" said Terceiro, who like partner Renato Gomes is a native Brazilian who obtained a new passport so they could compete in the Olympics. "I said to myself, 'If I win this match, I go meet my flag.'"
The victory by the 15th-seeded Georgians means Dalhausser and Rogers can advance to the championship game without playing a team in the medal round seeded better than eighth. Terceiro and Gomes have never beaten the Americans; but they hadn't beaten the Dutch, either.
"If this is a message," Terceiro said, "it is well said."
The other U.S. team, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, plays Brazil later Monday.
Koreng drew the first red card of the Beijing beach volleyball tournaments - men or women - and the sixth since the sport was added to the Olympics in 1996. At least one yellow card, a warning, has been handed out in Beijing for violating the 12-second rule the international federation has implemented to move matches along.
"I figured it was coming, because they're pushing to speed up play. I almost expected it once the yellow card came out," Dalhausser said. "The FIVB has a lot of rules, and that's one of them."
Rogers could not recall when or if he had ever been red-carded in his international or domestic career.
"I'm very good and knowing where to push the line," said Rogers, who as one of the top players usually draws one of the top referees for his matches. "If I ever disrespect a ref, it's because they really screwed up."
Expressing his admiration for Casutt and acknowledging that he didn't hear the conversation or know whether Koreng might have cursed, Rogers said he still thought there might have been a chance to defuse the situation without affecting the score.
But Klemperer was willing to let it go.
"It did not affect the game, so it is OK," he said. "It is about judgment. I think he tried to do his best."