US soccer loses 0-1 to Germany, but advances anyway
The United States men’s soccer team lost to the German national team 0-1 in the final match of group play, but is going to advance to the round of 16 anyways. Germany’s victory gave them the points victory in Group G, and the better match-up in the knockout rounds. US soccer is advancing, despite the loss, thanks to Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Ghana (US has a better goal differential than Portugal).
The match’s only goal came in the 55th minute when US goal keeper Tim Howard made an incredible save that deflected the ball out to German Thomas Müller. Müller hit the game winning shot from the edge of the box, and put all of the pressure on the United States to score an equalizer.
Müller’s goal was spurred on by the introduction of striker Miroslav Klose after the half. Klose’s play immediately made the German offensive attack more dangerous as he introduced a better cross passes. These better passes immediately opened up the American’s defense, and led to the goal.
The US team continued to push throughout the end of the match to score an equalizer, and their best opportunities came in the last couple of minutes of stoppage time. Clint Dempsey had a header that went over the top of the German net in the 94th minute; and that followed up a Michael Bradley missed shot in the 93rd minute.
The fact that the United States only allowed one goal, and one goal early in the second half, is surprising. Germany dominated possession of the ball throughout the match; and that was made perfectly clear from the early portions of the first half.
Both squads struggled early with the water-logged conditions of the pitch, and neither squad seemed completely comfortable throughout the match. The ball moved very slowly over the surface, and affected the control that the players had over the ball.
That being said, the Americans and Germans both had a lot of opportunities in the first half…but they failed to take advantage of them.
That being said, the United States advances in the World Cup to the round of 16 thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal that gave Portugal a 2-1 victory over Ghana. Ronaldo’s goal eliminated both squads from the tournament.
The US will play the winner of Group H on July 1st — probably Belgium.