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USA ! USA !

Hey, not bad for a team that wasn't expected to do anything: US beats Portugal, 3-2, for its first World Cup game victory outside the US in fifty years (US 1, UK 0, if you're keeping score). Portugal is seeded fourth, the US thirty-first. Because of our early schedules we got to watch the US score an own goal (ouch, baby), and hold off the attack in the last twenty minutes. Pretty exciting stuff !

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
absinthian
Jun. 5th, 2002 07:55 am (UTC)
woo hoo!
I saw most of the game as well- woke up at 5, switched it on, and it was already 1-0 US only 5 minutes in. Then they scored twice more (Port had an own goal as well) and then did what teams across the sports world do when they have a lead- fell back into a defensive posture and it almost cost them the game. If they stayed attacking like they had it wouldn't have been close because once they stopped Portugal brought almost the entire team forward to attack because there was no longer any need to defend.

But still they managed to hang on for a huge win. Man, if they can make it into the elimination round, that would be sweet. And they have some real players up front. Of course I can't remember their names because I was half-asleep the whole game.
rpkrajewski
Jun. 5th, 2002 08:13 am (UTC)
Re: woo hoo!
I suspect that both soccer and hockey share that pitfall of the defensive posture leading to a dangerous fallback, but it is so tempting because both sports are so physically draining. Which makes all the more amazing the fact the Senegal fielded the same eleven players in their entire upset match against France. You gotta give 'em much respect.

Meanwhile, from an objective viewpoint, it is kind of amusing to watch the euphoria on ESPN as a very large country beats a rather small one, but still, let us have our fun for the moment ! The US team made it into the 1994 second round (the host country always does, historically), but now they have to face Korea, which is a host country itself. Good luck !
absinthian
Jun. 5th, 2002 08:23 am (UTC)
Re: woo hoo!
Oh yeah, agreed. But as the announcers kept pointing out, you at least need to challenge them every so often just to keep the defense honest. From maybe the 35th minute until maybe the 85th the US just sat back and didn't challenge. Finally when they did toward the end they took back control of the game and neutralized Portugal's very potent offense.

I didn't see the Senegal/France match. I was going to but didn't and of course I'm now sorry I didn't. I love the fact that these upsets are much more commonplace now. I saw Cameroon's upset the last World Cup- that was very cool too.

US/Korea will be very interesting and now hugely important. At least a tie is needed.
rpkrajewski
Jun. 5th, 2002 08:30 am (UTC)
Re: woo hoo!
By nature I do enjoy upsets. Hopefully the Americans will learn from this game and take it to the Koreans consistently.

And, my German great-grandfather was a missionary in Cameroon, so his son (my maternal grandfather) would root for them during the World Cups (I know they were there in 1990).
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