Monday, June 16, 2014

Germany Dominate and USA Survive as Rodrigo Moves to the Top

Dramatic goal from a late corner kick rescues the USA
Germany started the day by thrashing the undisciplined Portuguese squad 4-0.  An early red card and a lot infighting by the Portuguese were a huge contrast to Germany's calm, organized approach which seemed able to dismantle their opponents at will.  In a tournament that has seen the stars living up to expectations, it was Thomas Muller who scored the hat-trick and left Christiano Ronaldo completely frustrated.

The huge win for Germany pushed Rodrigo and Gray to the top two spots in the BISERGS and Portugal's loss dropped Sharleen down to 6th.  Annika and Cookie both broke into the top ten because of America's thrilling victory.  The current top 10 includes every participant (four) who lives or has lived in Guatemala.  Coincidence?  The BISERGS has never been won by someone who hasn't lived in Guatemala.

The USA had a dream start as Clint Dempsey (of the Seattle Sounders by the way) snuck through the opposition to score in the very first minute.  There were a few costly injuries to key US players that could have a huge impact on future games and the game was dominated by Ghana for the entire second half.  Through their constant attack, it seemed inevitable that Ghana would eventually score and when they finally did in the 82nd, they seemed to be the much more likely side to go on to claim all three points.  Then, seemingly out of no where, the unheralded Jonathan Brooks, who was only in the game because of an injury to his teammate, headed home a corner kick and the USA escaped with a dramatic victory.

It was the first match that I've been able to see so far and I am glad I got up in the middle of the night to watch it.  I watched with about 30 other people including four friends from work.  The local government has set up a beautiful viewing area that was mostly empty for the late match, but the atmosphere was improved by a group of very friendly, enthusiastic but ultimately disappointed Ghanaians.

There was another match between Nigeria and Iran that ended in this year's first scoreless draw.  From what I've read, the 0-0 score says it all.

Today we will wrap up the first round of the BISERGS with Group H action.  Brazil and Mexico will also face off in the first match of the second round.

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