Cardiac Kids: U.S. Advances in Extra Time
No need to review how we had yet another goal called back…nor do I need to go into detail about the three (at least) outstanding scoring opportunities for the United States. All I know is that thanks to four extra minutes of play following the second half (which I thought was way too many), and Landon Donovan’s goal, the U.S. has advanced, as has England, from Group C. Another group called correctly, by the way.
On a personal note, just a few minutes before kick-off, three of us went down to a local sports bar/restaurant, because they had been telling everyone they were opening early for the U.S. games. Well, I guess the staff did not get the menu, but thanks to the manager of the Hickory Tavern, they opened the doors to us (and allowed us to bring Starbucks coffee and pastries in) to let us enjoy the games on any of their 71 televisions. We had U.S. – Algeria on a huge screen directly next to England – Slovenia, so we could watch both easily.
Within minutes, there were nearly 50 soccer enthusiasts joining us, and we had a great time. Especially in the 92nd minute. One of our friends, a woman from England, was very loud when England scored, but did manage a U-S-A cheer later on.
What I Learned From This Game:
1. Don’t count the U.S. out of any game…ever. For the first time in this year’s matches, the U.S. did not fall behind early…thanks to the crossbar that saved one certain Algerian goal.
2. The U.S. CAN score. With the offensive line-up put in by Coach Bob Bradley, Algeria had to look at Clint Dempsey up top in the second half, Edson Buddle, an outstanding scorer replacing Maurice Edu with lots of time remaining and DaMarcus Beasley who came on late replacing first-time Cup starter Jonathan Bornstein. Bradley HAD to make these moves, especially knowing that England was beating Slovenia, and if we tied this game, we were done. It paid huge dividends.
3. This was the first time since 1930 that the U.S. has won its group. Now, the Yanks move on. Their next game will be at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, against the second-place finisher in Group D, Ghana. Yes, I said Serbia would finish second, but they LOST to Australia’s Socceroos today, and are going home.
4. The U.S. defense did a great job…allowing just a few shots. Tim Howard looked VERY relaxed…I said that the opening minute. I have a lot of confidence in him right now.