CHICAGO --Rain, 27 degrees Celsius and 79 percent humidity greeted The United States Men's National Soccer team and Germany for Thursday's Group G showdown.
This must have been an emotionally tough game for USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He played for and managed Germany's World Cup team before moving to America. He sang our National Anthem along with his players before today's match. The first 45 minutes were just about even. The Americans played great defense and Tim Howard made a couple of great saves. The half ended nil-nil.
Joachim Lowe decided to tinker with his roster inserting Germany's all-time leading World Cup goal scorer Miroslav Klose. In the 54th minute, Howard made a great save, but as the clock turned to the 55th minute, Thomas Mueller picked off the rebound and "bent it like Beckham" and past Howard for the opening goal. 1-nil Germany. And that's how the game ended. The United States played pretty good considering they lost. In the final five minutes, the officiating was terrible versus the United States but they get through the "group of death". I didn't think they could get through but a huge win over Ghana in the opener coupled with the tie against Portugal and Jurgen Klinsmann has America in the final 16.
In this morning's other Group "G" match, Portugal faced Ghana and the Black Stars took the pitch in this must-win game without two of their stars. Sulley Muntari was suspended by the Ghana Football Association after he physically attacked a member of the GFA executive committee and a management member of the Black Stars. And Kevin-Prince Boatang was kicked off the team for what was described as a "vulgar verbal attack" on coach Kwesi Appiah. As for the match, Portugal took the lead in the 30th minute on an "own goal" by Ghana's John Boye, a defender. In the 57th minute, the Ghanaians struck as Asamoah Gyan scored and the game was tied at 1-all. And then in the 80th minute, the great one, Christiano Ronaldo helped the United States advance when he scored, Portugal wins 2-1, both teams will be leaving Brazil shortly with broken dreams.
So Germany and the United States make it through to the round of 16. Germany is the top seed out of Group "G" and they will play the second place finisher in Group "H" on Monday at 3 p.m. Chicago time. The United States will face the winner of Group "H" on July 1st at 3 p.m. CST.
In a final note before we take a day off like the teams do as we reset for the round of 16, I am pleased that FIFA reacted quickly (for them) and suspended Uruguayan superstar striker Luis Suarez for four months and fined him $100,000 Swiss francs for biting Giorgio Chiellini of Italy on the shoulder in a match that witnessed Uruguay advance to the knockout round. This clown has done this two times before. He should have been suspended for a year. See you all on Saturday when Brazil opens the second round against Chile at 11 a.m. Chicago time.
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Since joining ABC7 in 1982, Jim Rose has become a major force in Chicago sports broadcasting. He currently serves as sports anchor/reporter for ABC7 News in Chicago's top-rated 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. newscasts. He is an avid fan of the World Cup! Learn more about Jim