Fill the Streets with Red, White and Blue
They’re playing the World Cup
The first week of the 2014 World Cup has set a wild tone for the month-long tournament: passionate play, buckets of goals and shocking upsets. Just how crazy was this week?
For starters, the mighty have fallen. Spain has won every major tournament in the last six years, losing just one match. Last World Cup, Spain defeated Holland in the final match 1-0 in extra-time. This time around, Holland rocked the soccer world with a 5-1 victory.
In Group G play, Germany took care of Portugal, helping the United States in its battle with the Portuguese for the second seed in the group. Germany dominated with four goals to Portugal’s none, and Portugal star Pepe earned a red card for a menacing headbutt, meaning he cannot play in the next match against the United States.
Crofton-raised Kyle Beckerman and his United States National Team stormed into glory in the first minute of play as American star Clint Dempsey sent the ball past the Ghanaian goalkeeper just 32 seconds into the game for the fifth fastest goal in World Cup history. The U.S. defense held strong through most of the game, maintaining the lead until the 82nd, minute when Ghana finally equalized.
American players and fans saw World Cup hopes slip away in this must-win game as the clock ticked on. USA chants filled the stadium, calling for a last effort goal to save the game — and 21-year-old John Brooks answered in the 88th minute, heading the ball into goal off a Graham Zusi corner kick. Americans on the pitch, in the stands and in living rooms across the globe celebrated the dramatic victory. The path to USA World Cup success has been marked.
After a first week of wild World Cup action, we’ve learned things about every player, every country and every team. But most importantly, we’ve been reminded that this is World Cup soccer. Anything can happen.