With the entire country rallying around the United States Men’s National Team in recent weeks, coach Jurgen Klinsmann wanted as many fans as possible watching his teams opening round match against Germany on Friday. Even if it meant a large majority of America’s workforce staying home from work.
The American fans' devotion has translated to explosive social media involvement over the past few weeks. A few key themes developed during the game. Firstly, people were amazed by goalkeeper Tim Howard's performance.
While the Americans managed just one shot on goal all game, Germany peppered Howard with nine. Howard was stout in goal all game, allowing one shot from the Germans to slip past him, following a rebound from a miraculous save.
Though the Germans controlled possession 63 percent of the time, Howard's presence in goal kept the U.S. in contention.
While the USA/Germany match was going on, the other two competitors in the Group of Death, Ghana and Portugal, were battling it out as well. Though the United States could advance with a win or a tie, a loss would make things trickier. Ghana was close behind the Americans on goal differential.
After Portugal tied the game 1-1, some anxiety developed amidst American fans.
But in the end, Cristiano Ronaldo sent the Americans to the next round after his 80th minute shot slipped past the Ghanaian keeper.
The plethora of tweets directed at the action in Brazil probably mirrored the emotion Klinsmann and the squad were feeling at the time. While the US offense—sans Jozy Altidore for the second consecutive match—struggled mightily against the relentless German defense, Tim Howard kept the game close on the other end. And American fans were grateful.
They were also grateful for Ronaldo, the same man whose brilliant 95th minute cross on Sunday initially prevented the Americans from being the first team to advance past the group stage.