All atwitter about the World Cup

If you were unable to watch the World Cup, I just saw on Twitter that the US just defeated Algeria 1 – 0 to advance to Round 16. I don’t completely understand soccer, or football if you’re European, but I’m thrilled that the US is doing so well. It must drive the rest of the world nuts.

From ESPN:

Landon Donovan scored in the first minute of stoppage time off a rebound, advancing the United States to the second round at the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Algeria.

With the U.S. perhaps three minutes from elimination, Jozy Altidore was stopped on a breakaway by goalkeeper Rais Bolihi. Donovan hustled in and kicked in the rebound to win Group C Wednesday.

After his U.S. record 44th international goal, Donovan joyously ran to the corner flag and his teammates ran down the touchline to mob him. Donovan was in tears when the game ended and the United States had moved into the second round.

With just its fifth shutout in World Cup play, the United States (1-0-2) won a World Cup group for the first time since 1930 and will face the runner-up in Group D this weekend.

England (1-0-2), which beat Slovenia moments earlier, also had five points but finished second because the U.S. scored four goals to two for the English. Slovenia (1-1-1) was third with four points, missing advancing because of Donovan’s heroics. and Algeria (0-2-1) was last with one.

Until Donovan’s goal, it appeared the officiating would again be the focus.

Update: From Hyperbolist‘s comment below:

Actually, no, Kim. The rest of the world likes the plucky American side, particularly after they were robbed of a goal by an incompetent referee in their match vs. Slovenia. I watched it at a bar in Chicago and despite half the crowd being ex-pats, everyone was enraged at the officials and were upset with the game ending in a tie. At my office here in Toronto this morning, my friends and I sat in the board room cheering for the Americans, and were thrilled that Donovan was able to capitalize on his well-deserved opportunity.

That’s good to know. I’m glad to make the correction, even though the rest of the comment went down hill fast from there.

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  • hyperbolist

    Actually, no, Kim. The rest of the world likes the plucky American side, particularly after they were robbed of a goal by an incompetent referee in their match vs. Slovenia. I watched it at a bar in Chicago and despite half the crowd being ex-pats, everyone was enraged at the officials and were upset with the game ending in a tie. At my office here in Toronto this morning, my friends and I sat in the board room cheering for the Americans, and were thrilled that Donovan was able to capitalize on his well-deserved opportunity. I’ve liked the guy ever since he tore David Beckham to shreds in the press for being a terrible person.

    Football (actual football, not mutants in body armour smashing into one another) is the fairest team sport in the world, where all you need is a space and something to kick around to become great. (See: Pelé, Ronaldinho, Drogba, Ronaldo, Ronaldo, etc.) Literally anyone in the world can play, and billions do. So, when America beats a nation at football, it’s an actual achievement, as opposed to simply piling up coaching and training resources and crushing some down-trodden third world country at a sport for which they can barely afford to field a team. (Examples: golf, tennis, hockey. Dumb sports.)

    So well done today, U.S., and hats off to the Slovenians who nearly held their own against England despite having a population one-fifth the size of the city of London from which to draw talent. Here’s hoping Germany draws or loses to Ghana, the Serbs crush the Socceroos, and then Germany is out and the U.S. will have a much easier opponent in the next round. The only people in the world who would love to see the Yanks fail in the tournament are the French, but in the context of football, since Zidane has retired, nobody is more hated than the fucking French.

    So quit it with the “Yes, the whole world hates us, because we’re so good at pissing off those book-reading Euro-fags!” schtick. The world actually likes American football, and likes the footballers; it just hates the reactionary minority that doesn’t understand the game, like this stupid piece of garbage. Somebody ought to tell him that Americans do in fact like football, and that it’s the most popular sport among American children and youth. Begging the question once again: is the guy really that stupid, or is he just lying?

  • hyperbolist

    …and by the way, I just came by to see how blindly patriotic wingnuts could square their hatred of all things at which America is not the greatest, with the well-justified sense of pride that anyone would feel after watching (or reading about) their country enjoying some success in the world’s most important sporting contest.

    Turns out, they do it hilariously.

  • 914

    I dont see any wingnuts posting here hyper, so I guess you wasted your time.

  • DJ Drummond

    Soccer.

    Men in shorts running after a ball for an hour and half, occasionally falling down or having a yellow card waved at them by a fellow who may not speak their language, and never bothers to explain his calls. And despite having 50% more time on their clock than American football, only 1 stinking point is made the whole game.

    Soccer.

    Criminey, it’s worse than watching golf.

  • http://wizbangblog.com Kim Priestap

    Criminey, it’s worse than watching golf.

    Hey, I like watching golf.

  • DJ Drummond

    Kim: “Hey, I like watching golf”

    [ DJ shudders ]

  • ryan a

    “It must drive the rest of the world nuts.”

    Not really, Kim. I am in Mexico right now, where soccer (futbol) is HUGE. The World Cup is a pretty serious event around these parts (as it is in many non-US parts of the world). You might think that a US victory generates a bunch of enmity or jealousy, but all I have seen from many people is respect for the team´s efforts. Many people I have met have commented that “los americanos” are pretty damn good.

    On to the next round.

  • hyperbolist

    Damn right, ryan. People respect effort and sportsmanship, hence the entire world laughing at France and their joke of a manager who refused to shake the South African manager’s hand following their inglorious defeat. And not one single person would consider the hosts’ inability to get past the first round as unsuccessful, given their character and pride and tenacity.

    It’s amazing. Nothing not to love about this tournament, except for the sometimes dreadful officiating.

  • Jim Addison

    I for one am delighted that athletes who aren’t quite good enough for real pro sports have another outlet to make some money and provide Euro=peon fans a place to stand and urinate on each other before burning down the town.

    Teaching it to children seems rather perverted, though – it isn’t as if the public schools haven’t succeeded in destroying most of the competitive spirit in them already. What do we want, a nation of little Obamas?

  • 914

    Isn’t it high time for Barry to takeover the cup and declare himself an succcessor to the the crime?

  • ryan a

    Jim wrote:

    “I for one am delighted that athletes who aren’t quite good enough for real pro sports…”

    Haha. Ya, soccer players can only dream of the kind of athleticism that relief pitchers, first basemen, and golfers attain, right?

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