June 22, 2014

Portugal Ties U.S. in Final Seconds of Match: The U.S. men's national team was less than a minute from clinching a place in the round of 16 in the World Cup when Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo made a perfect crossing pass to Varela, who headed it past keeper Tim Howard for a 2-2 draw. Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey scored goals for the U.S. following an early Nani goal for Portugal.

posted by rcade to soccer at 09:09 PM - 7 comments

Here is a tweet with a picture that explains the Germany/USA/Ghana/Portugal situation for the final game.

The only combination that isn't available is Ghana/Portugal advancing. Every other combination is still alive.

What makes things potentially ugly is that both Germany and USA advance if they tie. I'm not suggesting any potential "gentleman's agreement", but it is interesting that the USA has a former German superstar as their coach, and a bunch of German-born players...

posted by grum@work at 09:27 PM on June 22, 2014

And Germany has form, of course.

posted by owlhouse at 09:41 PM on June 22, 2014

The bookies still have Germany as the favourite to win, with the draw second favourite (7/4) though that might change over the next day or so.

I suppose there's something to be said for winning the group -- though it's hard to judge who's the strongest of the three potential qualifiers in Group H. The second-place team in group G faces a potential quarter-final against Argentina if they progress, while the strongest team on other side of the draw is... France. Um. Pick your poison.

posted by etagloh at 10:05 PM on June 22, 2014

There are no easy games in international football these days. As Australia will no doubt find out tonight. :-)

posted by owlhouse at 10:51 PM on June 22, 2014

While a lot of people were a bit deflated by the result, a 2-2 draw was still a very good result for the U.S., both in terms of expectations and tiebreakers.

The only real nightmare scenario now is if the U.S. loses to Germany, Ghana beats Portugal by 2, and then it has to be explained to every casual American sports fan how it is that Ghana would advance over the U.S. on a tiebreaker despite the fact that the U.S., you know, beat Ghana.

My only retort is, "FIFA awarded a World Cup to Qatar. Logic isn't their strong suit."

(For the record, despite my handle, I am not from Qatar nor affiliated with it in any way.)

posted by TheQatarian at 09:28 AM on June 23, 2014

Jurgen Klinnsman has done a lot of good things as US coach but putting Timmy Chandler on at left back in injury time was not one of them. Timmy f'ing Chandler!

posted by billsaysthis at 10:46 AM on June 23, 2014

I really like the audio production on this ESPNFC recap of last night's game, which begins with the "I Believe" call and response chant.

ESPN did a pre-Cup ad that also made great use of it.

Of course, there is a risk inherent in doing this chant in the waning seconds of a match.

posted by rcade at 03:10 PM on June 23, 2014

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