For the first time in World Cup history, there was a water break.
With the United States and Portugal playing in the hot and humid conditions at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus, the referees decided to call a water break in the 39th minute, per NBC Sports:
While it was an unprecedented event, it was an order that referees had been given, as Fox Sports noted:
According to The Associated Press, via Fox Sports, a Brazilian court ordered FIFA to give water breaks after 30 minutes of play if the temperature reached 32 degrees Celsius (89.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
It wasn't just the heat, either. During game time, the humidity in Manaus sat at a sticky 70 percent, per The Weather Channel. The risk of injury or heat stroke increases at an exponential rate in those kind of conditions, and Bleacher Report's Will Carroll applauded the move:
Naturally, as the players broke to re-hydrate, jokes about orange slices became inevitable. CBS Sports' Jon Solomon and Jeff Borzello were quick to the punch:
Of course, it wasn't all jokes. Fox Sports wondered about the timing of the call, while Grantland's Shane Ryan noticed the stoppage time didn't exactly add up to the time the players spent on the sideline:
There are certainly kinks to be worked out. This is something referees have never done before, and if they are going to continue to dole out breaks during the World Cup, they will have to figure out the best times to do so without altering momentum or really affecting the game.
Ultimately, though, this is about player safety, and while water breaks aren't sexy, they are good for the game in these kinds of conditions.
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