The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

So Close! #USA Ties Portugal, 2-2

Posted on | June 22, 2014 | 15 Comments

The United States was less than a minute away from a 2-1 World Cup victory that would have clinched advancement to the round of 16 when Portugal’s superstar Christiano Ronaldo fired a crossing shot that set up a header from Silvestre Varela. The 2-2 tie was a disappointing result for the U.S. which had battled back heroically from an early error that put them in a 1-0 deficit just five minutes into the game. Nevertheless, as CBS Sports points out:

The United States is actually in a position now that managing a draw against one of the best teams in the world in a World Cup match is actually considered a disappointment. The United States has four points after two matches in the “Group of Death!” We should be thrilled, but instead we’re all disappointed because the expectations have been raised for this team. That’s a good thing.

The U.S. could have gotten rattled after a defensive blunder cost them that early goal. Instead, they settled down and controlled the ball and waited for their chance. They didn’t get that chance until nearly 20 minutes into the second half when Jermaine Jones absolutely nailed a long shot after a corner kick to tie it up.

Then, at the 81-minute mark, Deandre Yedlin penetrated to the right corner, hit a crossing shot into the middle and — after some kicking back and forth — Clint Dempsey put it in.


At that point, I thought we had it in the bag. Unfortunately, Team USA went into a soccer version of the “prevent defense,” which gave Portugal numerous scoring chances — they out-shot the U.S. 12-6 in the second half — and finally the dangerous Ronaldo found his chance. We managed to hold him scoreless, but his assist on the final goal cost us the win.

It was a beautiful, exciting game, though. Now the situation is this: If the U.S. wins or ties Thursday against Germany, we advance to the round of 16. If the U.S. loses to Germany, we could still advance, if the Portugal-Ghana game ends in a tie, or if Ghana wins by a single goal and the U.S. loses by only one goal. A nail-biter, sure, but we’re still in good shape and still control our own destiny.

 

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Comments

  • http://leatherpenguin.com/ TC_LeatherPenguin

    FUCK THEM. I wrack hockey

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  • Verlin Martin

    We get in if Portugal wins and we lose if Port doesn’t make up the 5 goal diff we have over them atm

  • joethefatman

    A europagan sportette if there ever was one.

  • guinspen

    Keek.

  • Spiny Norman

    Just like in the NFL, the “prevent defense” is a great way to prevent victory. Fercryingoutloud, Varela was wide open! That was probably the easiest goal you’ll see this month. Yeah, it was a great match, right up until the inexcusable blunder at the end. This might have been the biggest choke in the WC since Colombia’s own goal against us in 1994.

    >> That << close to getting out of the "Group of Death".

    For what it's worth, I really only care about soccer during the World Cup (like I only care about Track & Field during the Olympics), so this really sucks.

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  • Spiny Norman

    Not losing to Germany by more than 3 goals is the real task ahead.

    Then, GO GHANA!

  • JeffS

    I appreciate that many people like soccer, but ……

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    So is this your coming out column?

    TOM never covers sports – at least that hasn’t changed.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Yes, some do enjoy seeing men run around in short-shorts for hours, the sweat running down their sinewy muscles as the excited spectators in standing room urinate on each other so as not to miss a moment.

    Must be an acquired taste – and I’m out of the acquisitions biz.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    I recall some years ago hearing of a youth soccer league in Massachusetts that abandoned keeping score.

    I was shocked to learn there was scoring in soccer.

  • mojo

    It’s soccer. Nobody gives a shit.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    This is why I have always said that you can never trust someone who was once a Democrat: they always retain some vestige of their former mental illness. In this case, Ol’Stacy has gone Sports Homo.

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