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Sunday, June 22, 2014

USA Vs. Portugal In the World Cup: Live-Slogged!

Posted by on Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

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  • lazyllama/Shutterstock
  • DO YOU BELIEVE? "I believe" is apparently the slogan of choice for US soccer fans. Bland but hopeful!

It's been real, folks: We're second in Group G. This game had it all—we went behind, we went ahead, then we tied. Disappointment, excitement, and finally, a shrug. All in all, I think you have to salute the US players for an overall strong performance. We haven't definitively secured our place in the knockout stage yet, but on this evidence, we'll get there. Highlights here.

Next game is against heavyweights Germany on Thursday, June 26 at 9 a.m.. Until next time: Hate FIFA, love the game.

In the meantime, let's have a laugh at Ronaldo:


95 mins: Apparently not: the game ends 2-2. Ronaldo whips in a peach of a cross from the right-side, and it's an open header for Portugal's Silvestre Varela. Everyone is completely stunned.

94 mins: Ronaldo looks like he's already given up...

91 mins: We're into five minutes of stoppage time, which seems like an awful lot.


85 mins: Top-notch stuff from the US team! A free kick for Portugal comes to nothing, as our back line steps up and leaves half the Portuguese team off-side. Dempsey is limping off the field. The crowd here is chanting his name. Chris Wondolowski is on in his place.

83 mins: Dempsey is on side all day every day for that goal. I believe. We can do this.

80 mins: DEMPSEYYYYYY!!!!!! 2-1!!!!! Yedlin involved in the build-up. Pandemonium here at The Chieftain. A chair is crowd-surfing.

79 mins: I cannot believe how well we've neutralized Ronaldo.

71 mins: USA's Alejandro Bedoya is subbed out for attacking defender—no wait, he's playing in the left wing in midfield—DeAndre Yedlin! With Dempsey, that makes two Seattle Sounders players on the field. Represent. Aggressive move by Klinsmann.

70 mins: The reaction here at The Chieftain to that Jones strike? Chants of "I believe that we will win!" and of course, "USA! USA!"


65 mins: This is a remarkable game—you have to expect that more goals are coming. Tim Howard has to be alert again to get in a block, and he is, as Portugal's Meireles has a go at the other end.

63 mins: JONES!!!!!! 1-1. Off a corner kick, he hits it with venom and it flies into the side-netting! The Portuguese keeper watches go in. Brilliant.

62 mins: Well, Ronaldo will want to forget that. He gets the ball in acres of space and has could make a beeline towards goal, but uncharacteristically for him, he looks up for his teammates. Finding none, he charges forward then fluffs his shot into the stands.

60 mins: We're playing a lot like the Sounders: kinda messy, but with enough flair and physicality and teamwork to look entertaining and dangerous. If we could just find the back of the net...

55 mins: COME ON, MICHAEL BRADLEY. You have to score there. Our most creative player, Fabian Johnson, makes a run down the right flank and it looks like it's going out of bounds. But he gets there, cuts it back past the Portuguese keeper. And what does Bradley do? He side-foots it straight into a Portuguese defender on the goal line, instead of slamming it into the upper net. He'll regret that.

54 mins: Portugal have looked refreshed by the halftime break, but haven't created any clear-cut chances.

45 mins: We're back on. You have to imagine that after Messi's later wonder strike (watch this animated version, it's a beautiful thing) rescuing Argentina on Saturday, Ronaldo will want to make his mark on this game for Portugal. So far, he's been pretty quiet.

Halftime: Here's that Tim Howard save again:

Before the whistle blows, Nani hits it goalwards again, but it bounces off the right goalpost... then instantly it's flying towards the US goalmouth again, but Tim Howard staggers up and knocks the ball just over the bar. That was crazy.

Also, we really must win this, if only to not let down Professor X:


44 mins: Tim Howard. Oh my god. How did he do that.

42 mins: Goalscorer Nani, who I've always rated highly, is passed the ball by Ronaldo and finds himself in acres of space on the right side. But Tim Howard has strong hands to palm away his shot, then our defenders foul Nani as he tries to get the rebound. Ronaldo set himself in his trademark stance to take a free kick, but skies it wide. Cheers from the crowd.

We're back underway: The players were all squirting water at themselves.

What the hell? It's difficult to hear the announcer in here, but I gather the ref just called a "cooling break"? Play has stopped. I've never seen this before.

35 mins: We've taken nine shots on goal so far. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo picks up the ball in midfield and strikes it, but it bounces straight into Tim Howard's arms.

29 mins: We really need to start putting away these chances... Dempsey rolls the ball behind for Bradley, who strikes a tame shot across the face of goal. The Portuguese keeper looks tired! Still 1-0, Portugal up.

24 mins: Bradley with a bit of space outside the eighteen yard box—boom! Another solid assault on the Portuguese goal that goes just high. The referee was in his way for a moment there, though. (The ref in the Iran-Argentina match yesterday morning was a comic and bumbling figure, by the way. He dropped his aerosol spray can on the field and accidentally blocked an Iranian breakaway. I felt bad for the Iranians.)

21 mins: Coach Jurgen Klinsmann appears to have gotten his tactics spot-on so far. Portgual's goal happened because of a careless defensive error. But since then, we've stifled Portugal in the midfield and threatened on the break. Portugal's keeper comes way out of his box to kick away an enticing lob for Dempsey. Looked dicey for a moment there.

18 mins: Oh, that would have been glorious from Dempsey! Portugal suddenly look vulnerable to counter-attacks and long through balls. Another corner pops out to Dempsey, who chests down and lobs over the keeper. It's too high, though, and goes out for a goal kick.

14 mins: The great thing about going one goal down early on is you have almost ninety minutes to recover. Fabian Johnson weaves his way through two Portuguese players and is hacked down. Dempsey rifles the free kick on target, but Portugal's keeper gets a hand to it. Close!

11 mins: Optimistic whoops go up from my comrades at The Chieftain as the US release a winger down the right side. His cross goes out for a corner, but Portugal easily clear.

New to soccer? Gawker has a beginner's guide to this match here.

8 mins: We kicked the ball off but we haven't had more than a few second of possession. That man Dempsey hasn't seen the ball at all. Poor stuff. Portugal look relaxed and assertive.

5 mins: PORTUGAL SCORE. Nani is left totally open on the far side after a weak clearance from a left-side cross. Devastating.

4 mins: Cristiano Ronaldo dances his way down the left side. That's what we were all watching for!

2 minutes in: Whew! Hometown hero Clint Dempsey has opted not to wear a mask over his bruised, broken nose. He looks like he just took a headbutt to the face from Zinedine Zidane.

Minutes away from kickoff...


 

Comments (68) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Theodore Gorath 1
I can't believe Dempsey has not scored yet.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
That's not a good sign.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
Cameron fluffed that miserably. You can't do that here at this level.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 4
Oh well, I hear Brazil is a nice place to take a beach vacation. Enjoy your suntans, USMNT.
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on June 22, 2014 at 3:11 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
Men in Blazers will tell you, THEY SCORED TOO EARLY!
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
Dempsey Dempsey Dempsey!

USA! USA! USA!
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on June 22, 2014 at 3:17 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 7
USA looks terrible so far, so many unforced errors.

This could get ugly.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 22, 2014 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Fnarf 8
I disagree. We're playing very well. The goal will come. Wait until they get tired.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 9
Will you guys keep live slogging the games, if/when after you're out?
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 10
Nine shots, but only two shots on goal. Different stats, Ansel.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 11
Wow, that is some solid goalkeeping.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 12
Ansel: Cooling breaks happen at 30 and 75 minutes if it's over 32C. A new law decided in the Brazilian courts just before the Cup opened.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Fnarf 13
The cooling break is because we are in Manaus and it was 100 degrees earlier, with massive humidity. There will be one in the second half too.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 3:47 PM · Report this
14
@10: Ah. This is why I am not a sports reporter.
Posted by Ansel Herz on June 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 15
Did anyone else watch the Belgium-Russia game? I actually, honestly fell asleep. Group H is the worst.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM · Report this
Fnarf 16
@15, that was the worst game of the tournament so far, I think. Belgium are crapping me negative. I thought with their star lineup (third-most-expensive according to transfer fees) they'd be better than this.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 4:11 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 17
@16: A bunch of great players who can't pull it together as a team. It's painful to watch.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Fnarf 18
AAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 19
Nice defense.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
Ronaldo is a pee hole.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 4:20 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 21
Wow, Rinaldo was way wide. I don't think he's 100%.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:20 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 22
Yes!!
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 23
That shot was amaaaaaazing
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 24
GOOOOALLL!!!!!!!!
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 25
Potugal's goalie must have thought that was goong wide. He hardly moved at all.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Fnarf 26
There was a guy celebrating our goal in a Teddy Roosevelt costume.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 27
Nice saves.

@26, I saw that.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:24 PM · Report this
28
Yedlin!!!!
Posted by An indelicate gesture on June 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 29
Saw someone in the crowd with a Colorado flag shirt.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Fnarf 30
DeAndre Yedlin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Make us proud, son.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 31
Yes!!!!
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 32
Dempsey!
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 33
THE SOUNDERS WIN THE WORLD CUP!
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 34
Why did their goalie protest? I'm watching this in Spanish.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 35
Well shut my mouth. Holy shit. Can this actually happen?
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on June 22, 2014 at 4:45 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 36
@34: He was asking for an offsides, and may have had a point.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 22, 2014 at 4:47 PM · Report this
37
Was Dempsey not off sides?
Posted by Upchuck on June 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM · Report this
38
@34: I'm sure he thinks Dempsey was off-side...
Posted by Ansel Herz on June 22, 2014 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
Oh! Damn, one point instead of three.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 22, 2014 at 4:53 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 40
What?!?
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 4:53 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 41
15 fucking seconds.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on June 22, 2014 at 4:54 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 42
Just so you know, I can't cheer for you guys against either Germany or Algeria. Sorry, American friends.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
43
Fnarf: Was it worse than Iran/Nigeria? I almost turned that one off, and was palpably relieved to remember there isn't overtime in the group round.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on June 22, 2014 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 44
@43: I'm not Fnarf, but I thought it was worse. Iran/Nigeria had some moments of interesting footwork and decent passes by Iran, although the game was largely dull. I honestly don't know how you'd even make a clips reel of Belgium/Russia.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on June 22, 2014 at 5:03 PM · Report this
delirian 45
Correct my math if I'm wrong, but assuming the US loses to Germany, the worst case would be Ghana beating Portugal (a 2 point goal differential between the US). The more likely case of Portugal beating Ghana would have a 5 point goal differential. So what the US needs to do is to advance is simply to not lose too bad to Germany (a tie or win would guarantee advancement).
Posted by delirian on June 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM · Report this
46
Also: Wow that was depressing. I hope we can at least get a point vs Germany, because otherwise we might end up out to the winner of Ghana-Portugal.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on June 22, 2014 at 5:04 PM · Report this
47
I blame Bradley. Not only does he muff his shot earlier, he turns it over in the closing minutes...
Posted by Upchuck on June 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM · Report this
Fnarf 48
Yeah, we need a point against Germany. Piece of cake!

@43, different kind of boring. Belgium-Russia was competent but snoozy, like a practice session or something. Iran-Nigeria was just two terrible teams being terrible.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 5:27 PM · Report this
delirian 49
@48: Nah, we just don't have to lose to bad to Germany (see my above post). While it sucks to tie in the last minute, this was overall a good result. The US team is more likely to advance now than it was thought yesterday. 538 has just run the odds and they have improved from 63% to 76%.
Posted by delirian on June 22, 2014 at 5:45 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 50
@48

I watched Bosnia-Nigeria yesterday. And they both looked good. But I don't know shit about soccer. What are the rules again? Kick a ball?
Posted by dnt trust me on June 22, 2014 at 5:47 PM · Report this
cressona 51
As a sports fan and an American sports fan, I could hardly feel prouder or more patriotic. The national anthem had a little extra meaning before this match. And to think we came 15 seconds short of being the first team to qualify out of the vaunted "Group of Death."

But what makes me especially proud as an American sports fan is how all these MLS players more than held their own against these Portuguese players on Champions League rosters. As someone who cut his teeth as a soccer fan on MLS, not on European football, I look forward to the day when, OK, maybe MLS isn't necessarily the equal of the English Premier League or the Bundesliga or La Liga, but rather when MLS is on the next tier, just a step behind.

P.S. Special props to young DeAndre Yedlin for showing the Portuguese a thing or two about American "work rate."
Posted by cressona on June 22, 2014 at 5:58 PM · Report this
cressona 52
An addendum to my point @51 about MLS. I'm not necessarily advocating that the best American soccer players stay home and play out their careers in MLS. I can only hope that more and more are in a position to consider that a viable option or to know that they can go to Europe to prove themselves and then come home for a big payday. It's still nice to have guys like Tim Howard or Brad Friedel who are able to play out their careers in the Premier League.

Contrast our mix of MLS and Mexican league and European league talent with the Russian national team, every one of whose players plays their club football in Russia's super league. While I appreciate any league's desire to keep their best players home, that sort of homogeneity is a recipe of mediocrity, and it plays into this neo-Soviet Putinesque desire to shut Russia off from the rest of the world. It makes me appreciate all the more the great Russian hockey players like Alex Ovechkin and Yevgeny Malkin who have elected to play in the NHL and not take their talents to Russia's KHL.
Posted by cressona on June 22, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 53
@51
Your American pride makes me sick. This shit stems outward.
USA! Bomb Afghanistan.
USA! Open as many WalMarts as possible around the globe.
USA! Win one for the Gipper.

Disgust
Disgust
You don't agree??!'
Posted by dnt trust me on June 22, 2014 at 6:11 PM · Report this
cressona 54
dnt trust me @53, sure, American has a lot to be ashamed of, but the principles and ideals of our nation--the kinds of things writers from de Toqueville to Whitman to Obama have written paeans to--are still worth aspiring to, and on the occasions when our deeds do live up to our principles and our ideals, I don't mind feeling a little pride.

Yeah, maybe rooting for the USMNT has a lot to do with jingoism, but I still see a bit of those best qualities of Americans in that team that's representing us out there.
Posted by cressona on June 22, 2014 at 6:24 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 55
Cressona, diplomatic. I accept. I stand by comment @53
Posted by dnt trust me on June 22, 2014 at 6:50 PM · Report this
56

Dum question.

But what decides when they have to go to that little space in the corner and kick sideways to their "scrum"?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on June 22, 2014 at 8:31 PM · Report this
Fnarf 57
@56, you mean a corner kick? When the ball is last touched by a defender before crossing the end line. If it's last touched by an attacker instead, it's a goal kick (taken by the keeper).
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 8:36 PM · Report this
58
@57: Fnarf, I was at work, but mostly watching, but one thing I noticed was that it seemed like Portugal did a lot of passing rather than corner and goal kicks. Free kicks they took some of, but even some of those they just passed the ball instead, I think including the one where 5 of their team were offsides =P

Did I just miss all the times they did a normal kick, or is there some reason for the strategem?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on June 22, 2014 at 9:11 PM · Report this
59
@59: Europeans tend to pass it around a much more--and a lot more accurately--than Americans.
Posted by Ansel Herz on June 22, 2014 at 9:19 PM · Report this
seandr 60
@58: Portugal played more of a possession game, where they hold the ball, force the other team to do a lot of running on defense, and patiently wait for an opportunity to strike. The Spanish (and Barcelona) are famous for this style of play, called "ticka-tacka".

The Germans and English (and US under Klinsmann) tend to incorporate more long passes, quick forward movement, and counter attacks (equivalent to a fast break in basketball).

Portugal completed 488 passes with 52% possession compared with the US's 453 passes with 48% possession. That's actually not as lopsided as your typical match involving Barcelona.

Spain's unbelievable early exit from the World Cup this year, combined with Barcelona's lackluster season, suggest that the reign of ticka-tacka may be coming to an end.
Posted by seandr on June 22, 2014 at 9:55 PM · Report this
Fnarf 61
@58, some people like the short corner, because honestly corner kicks are a very low-percentage thing -- you're chucking it into the mixer, where it's never better than 50-50. One in 20 for a goal. A short corner might give you a chance at a better angle and better chance at getting the ball to your player. Goal kicks, even more so -- you boot it 60 yards, great, but it's 50-50 that the guy who picks it up is on the other team. Free kicks, well, if it's too far to score directly, like that 40-yarder from Cristiano, it can make more sense to play it off and let someone else bring it forward.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 22, 2014 at 10:04 PM · Report this
seandr 62
@fnarf: Ronaldo is a pee hole.

You can't be a real football fan and not show Ronaldo at least begrudging respect. The man's career highlight reel is as entertaining and amazing as anyone's.

I watched every Real Madrid game that I could this season, and it was obvious towards the end that Ronaldo was injured and dropped to about 85% his normal performance. It's a bummer the World Cup won't get to see him at top form. And yet still, that cross was fucking brilliant.
Posted by seandr on June 22, 2014 at 10:32 PM · Report this
63
Conceding a late goal is common when sitting back to protect the score. Wrong tactical choice IMO. Still, it was a glorious draw and a fantastic game by the US.

Let's hope Chile-Holland delivers today.
Posted by anon1256 on June 23, 2014 at 7:32 AM · Report this
delirian 64
@62: Anybody who builds a museum in his own honor with a separate gift shop doesn't even deserve grudging respect.
Posted by delirian on June 23, 2014 at 8:49 AM · Report this
seandr 65
@64: He's only trying to make his mom proud.
Posted by seandr on June 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Fnarf 66
@62, both statements are true. Cristiano is good at football. Cristiano is a pee hole.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM · Report this
67
@60,61: Thanks. I have noticed that some keepers are definitely better at getting the ball to a specific spot than others, but even with that you still never have better than a 2/3 shot of having the ball stay in your possession, and the other team has time to react. I had also heard about ticka-tacka just recently, and also heard about the contrast with the counter-attack style. I remember watching a match a couple Cups ago where there was almost no 1 on 1 challenging, and lots of passing. It was certainly beautiful to watch, but at the same time, boring.

Are there any other teams that play ticka-tacka that are in the Cup?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on June 23, 2014 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Posted by anon1256 on June 23, 2014 at 5:11 PM · Report this

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