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Watching The World Cup — Thumbs Up

Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

I haven’t seen much of the World Cup tournament, just a game here and there.  But on Tuesday I did have the chance to watch the entire Belgium-USA contest and honestly, it was a joy.  Here’s a recap of my experience:

00:44  USA Goalkeeper Tim Howard made the first of his 16 saves, the highest total for World Cup goalkeeper in 50 years.  For most of this game, Belgium kept the pressure on the U-S and Howard.

17:00  Its watching grass grow time. Much of the action takes place in the middle of the “pitch,” with only an occasional scoring chance, the majority by Belgium.

39:00  ESPN Commentators told us that darkness had fallen.  Good thing they had lights.

44:24  I like the way the referees don’t take any back-talk from players. The Belgium player with the afro hair-do, Flamiani I think his name was, started to complain about something and the ref seemed to say “enough” and didn’t want to hear any more.

Halftime  Time for a bathroom break.  I also grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge for the second half.  You have to stay hydrated.

47:00  Belgium seemed to step up the pressure on Tim Howard.  Some chances were harder than others,  but Howard kept catching the ball or knocking it away.  At one point the shots were Belgium 20, USA 3.

72:10  Despite Belgium’s dominance, the score remained 0-0 or as the commentators said, “nil-nil.”  At this time, the Americans substituted Chris Wondolowski into the game.  He is apparently a scorer.  I can hear the call now…”Wondo scores and the Americans win.”

95:00  Nobody scored and regulation time ended at 0-0.  Its the knockout round, so that meant 30-minutes of extra time.

Extra Time:  If you care, you probably know what happened by now.  Belgium finally broke through and scored two goals about ten minutes apart.  The U-S came back and scored a goal with about 14 minutes remaining.  The goal was scored by Julian Green, at 19 the youngest U-S World Cup player ever.

The Americans had chances in the final minutes, but couldn’t score.  The final, Belgium 2 USA 1.  It was fun to watch, with plenty of excitement and drama.  I can’t wait for the semi-finals.  And don’t tell my friends but, it was more exciting that Monday night’s Red Sox-Cubs game.  .



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