World Cup 2014 – Group G – Match Report: USA 0 – Germany 1

28 Jun

Soccer: World Cup-Germany vs USAAbout two months worth of rain happened over night in Recife before USA and Germany’s match at Arena Pernambuco. But the game must go on!

Actually, the risk to fans travelling to the match was huge and it probably should have been postponed. Then again, with the amount of money poured into this tournament by Brazil and the possibility of either team being able to claim a day less rest (depending on outcome) for the Round of 16, perhaps that wasn’t a good idea either.

There were a number of ways that this could go for USA to still move on, but fans of both sides were still watching the Portugal – Ghana match with wide eyes.

Germany: Müller (55’)

Lineups:

USA: Howard; Johnson, Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley; Beckerman, Jones; Zusi, Bradley, Davis; Dempsey

Germany: Neuer; Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Höwedes; Lahm, Schweinsteiger; Özil, Kroos, Podolski; Müller

USA v Germany: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Smile on, Jozy. You could get to play in the knockout round after all!

Klinsmann swapped Brad Davis for Bedoya and Omar Gonzalez found himself in for Geoff Cameron. Gonzalez had started to look off form in the matches before the World Cup began, but Cameron was a big liability in the match against Portugal. Besler still started, despite the concerns about injury in the last two matches.

Low left out Sami Khedira, who had picked up a knock, and Mario Gotze in favor of the more attacking Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski. They would be hoping to get the USA on the back foot early.

Germany had possession early. They attacked USA’s defense steadily and looked like they’d dominate. A cross from Boateng was easily collected by Howard, who’d been stellar in the previous two matches.

It was looking dangerous for USA. Mesut Ozil had a nice run down the wing but was stopped by Beasley. A ball into the box found Germany confused and USA breathed a sigh of relief.

Then USA seemed to have a nice break, but Howedes was carded after reaching for Fabian Johnson’s shirt. To this day that remains the only thing I was ever carded for (and trust me, there should have been more). Does anyone else feel like the refs haven’t been playing advantage? They just automatically blow the whistle without taking into account that they can call the play back.

Boateng continued to find himself in acres of space and it was got dangerous for USA yet again. Schweinsteiger had another chance for Germany but Gonzalez stepped up to clear it.

At 21’ Graham Zusi took a shot from outside the box. The effort wasn’t bad but didn’t amount to anything. But again, Germany got possession and AGAIN Boateng was allowed to use the acres of space they gave him. In the end his cross wasn’t good and USA could breathe. But how long could this keep happening?

At 28’ the ref decided to block Jermaine Jones and I can’t help but laugh a little. If it were Biscuits, he’d have been writhing on the ground hoping the ref sent himself off. As it was, Jones fell to the ground clutching his face. But he had just cause.

At 32’ Jones had chance as he snuck between the two defenders and nearly got on the end of a Bradley ball over the top. Who is this Bradley? Where has he been? In the end, Jones couldn’t control it and the ball got away from him.

Gonzalez collected a yellow card in the 38th minute for a kick at Schweini. I begrudgingly have to admit it was deserved.

The first half was a flurry of misses and rather mediocre passes. USA can be happy that they hadn’t conceded about three goals, while Germany can be frustrated that they hadn’t converted. Neither team looked to be playing to potential.

It was pouring down, however. And I’m sure both teams were hoping to avoid injury.

Even Jogi just wanted the half to end

Second half:

Just needed USA to hold on like Clint was holding Mesut. Bad Clint! But good Clint! On so many levels…

Germany used their first substitution to replace my boyfriend (Podolski) with Miroslav Klose. They must have been hoping that his veteran status and nose for goal poaching could help them pull ahead of USA in the second half.

At 47’ Boateng was again allowed to cross the ball into the box (I feel like a broken record. FIX IT!) and Gonzalez made a vital clearance as Mesut nearly got his head on it. Very VERY lucky for USA that it was the smaller and less aerially adept Ozil. If Klose had been there it might have been bad.

Then it just broke down. USA fell asleep and Germany weren’t going to be denied forever. A corner was taken short and played into the box. Mesut, headed the ball quite nicely but Timmy Howard came up with a great save. Unfortunately, the ball fell to Muller’s feet and his shot rocketed into the corner in the 55th minute.

USA’s first substitution was bring in Alejandro Bedoya for Brad Davis. I was really starting to wish that Klinsmann had started Bedoya, as Davis was one of the weak links in the US defense.

Bedoya’s first action was to grab Tony Kroos by the shirt, and follow it up with a kick to Schweini. He was allowed to get away with both. Bedoya meant business.

However at 62’ Kyle Beckerman’s kick to the forward did not go unpunished and he earned a yellow card.

Lots of German attacking finally swung USA’s when they earned a corner kick that was taken terribly and completely wasted in the 68th minute. Germany immediately pushed forward but Gonzalez came up big once again. He seemed to have stolen Geoff Cameron’s brilliance.

In the 71st minute Clint Dempsey clattered into Hummels, catching another smack to the face. Just two minutes later, on what looked to be a good run for USA, Bedoya and Jones clattered together. Both went down clutching their heads. Jones seemed to get the brunt of it. But both got up and went on.

In the 75th minute, Gotze came on for Schweinsteiger. Gotze immediately made a nice run but nothing happened. Germany seemed content to settle for the 1-0 score.

But in the 80th minute Beckerman lost the ball and Ozil and Gotze linked up brilliantly. A one-two into the box but a bad touch (the footie kind, not the show me on the doll kind) denied them a chance on goal.

I got pretty excited when quick-paced DeAndre Yedlin was brought on for Zusi in the 81st minute. For all his hard work, Zusi needed the rest. Yedlin could provide USA with a bit of speed and possibly create a few more chances.

He immediately picked the ball from Howedes and passed off to Bedoya who found Dempsey. The ball decided it didn’t want to be controlled, however, and the attack fizzled.

USA parked the bus for the final minutes. And despite Schurrle coming in for Ozil and making a nice run into the box, the USA hung onto conceding only a single goal.

USA’s final push came too late. Jones broke down the right and they used the opportunity well. Bedoya ended up with the ball on the edge of the box but his shot was blocked excruciatingly and magnificently well by Philip Lahm. The resulting corner produced a great opportunity. The ball was headed back across to Dempsey but he put it over. As the whistle blew, the roar went up.

USA ARE THROUGH!!!! And Germany too 😉

My Notes

USA:

It’s nice to have Omar Gonzalez back. I think he dealt with the threat from Schweinsteiger incredibly well. With that said, that open right side is killing us! It’s the same reason that Ronaldo was allowed to make the cross that Varela got on the end of. It needs to be fixed if we want to move into the semi-finals and not get embarrassed.

This is a good American side. And I have my reservations in saying that, but it is a quality team. The individual brilliance isn’t there, and there are definitely holes, but it works. I’m still waiting on ‘The General’ to show up (Michael Bradley’s nickname at Roma) and I think it’s time I stopped. This match wasn’t as bad, but he’s still not in the form I’m used to.

Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya continue to impress me. It took me a while in qualifying to warm to Zusi and Gonzalez (like it took me a while to warm to Lady Edith, I admit) but I love their contributions to the team. All-in-all, it was hard fought. We had to rely on a result from Portugal, but we’re through. And it was deserved, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.
tumblr_n7sht6XJvH1rjev45o1_500

Clint looks as confused as I am

Clint looks as confused as I am

Germany:

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Germany didn’t look the same as they had against Portugal or Ghana. USA didn’t play well, but neither did Germany. That man above however, Thomas Muller, he scares me. He is lethal. I knew he was good. You’d have to not pay attention at all to miss that. But maybe I ignored just how good he is. But if Muller isn’t on form, Germany has such a deep bench. They can turn to Klose, who says he wants one more.

The entire squad can score, from Schweini and Poldi to Gotze and Ozil, and they work so well off each other. They shouldn’t have any issues with Algeria in the next round. They’re looked at as one of the strongest squads in the tournament and rightfully so. They remain Europe’s best chance at reaching the final.

-mygypsyspirit

2 Responses to “World Cup 2014 – Group G – Match Report: USA 0 – Germany 1”

  1. hopechaser June 29, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    Wow, didn’t know they got that much rain. Crazy.

    • mygypsyspirit June 30, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      I don’t know if it was actually 2 months worth… That was my own non-meteorologically educated estimate

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