Well, that was an incredibly thrilling game of soccer that we were all witness to on Sunday night, and it could have been the lynchpin moment that decides who advances from Group G. Both Portugal and the United States showed why this was the so called “Group of Death” before the World Cup began.
Even though I admittedly do not watch soccer year round, it is safe to call a match exciting when the game gets tied in the final minute by the basketball equivalent of a buzzer-beater. The best soccer player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, crushed the hopes of American fans all over the world with a stunningly placed cross to a game-tying header in the last minute of stoppage-time. I never thought a tie could be so exciting.
“Now we have to go out and beat Germany, that’s what we have to do,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said after the match. “We have to play Germany, we have one less day to recover, we played in the Amazon, they played on a place with less travel. We have to do it the tough way.”
It strikes one’s ear a bit oddly that Klinsmann is saying we need to beat Germany, because he is a German by birth. No national pride will keep the head coach from trying to get a win though.
I think that the U.S. missed their shot at advancing past group play with the tie, and there is no other way around it for me. I do not see the Americans besting Germany with so much at stake, but it must be noted that their history in this tournament does not include Klinsmann leading the show. He could end up being the true X-factor for Tim Howard and company, because the coaching substitutions have been spot-on throughout the tournament. So for now, the U.S. National Team’s hopes rest on the coach who said they could not win the World Cup this year.