Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup
closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
USA, England, Germany and Ghana to Sweet 16; Algeria, Slovenia, Australia and Serbia Out
The games were the following: USA vs Algeria and England vs Slovenia in Group C; and Ghana vs Germany and Australia vs Serbia in Group D.
The day started with two games playing simultaneously. USA vs Algeria and England vs Slovenia had to play at the same time to avoid any game fixing issues. In my previous article, I guaranteed that the United States of America would definitely book their tickets for the round of 16 because it is all about their motto: “In God We Trust.” Today the gods of football manifested by goal posts, goal disallowed, etc, were about to send the Americans back to Washington, DC. However, the Almighty God had the last say for the fighting Americans. They had fought a good fight against the Algerians. It was not an easy day for the USA national team players and 300 million Americans suffering with them. The Slovenians were not about to help the Americans. They had to do it on themselves. At the beginning of the game, the Americans could have found themselves down 0-1; unfortunately for the Algerians, their shot on goal smashed the crossbar. As the game continued, the Americans kept putting the pressure and the more pressure that the Americans put on the Algerians, it seems the gods of football were not about to smile on the Americans. However, the Americans knew that their motto is: “In God We Trust.” Somehow, they believed in themselves that they could do it.
For a moment, I was thinking about the bold prediction I made in my previous article that the Americans would book their ticket to the sweet 16. After so many missed goal scoring opportunities, I did not lose faith and the Americans did not lose faith. I kept looking at the dying minutes of the game. Suddenly, it was a long ball from Tim Howard to Landon Donovan who have found strength within himself to keep running with the ball and to pass it to Haitian-American descent, Jozy Altidore, who somehow sent a low cross to Dempsey who touched it and the Algerian Goalie, Rais M’Bohli, who finally gave a rebound, and Landon Donovan placed it the far right corner of the goal and scored for the United States of America in the 91st minute. It was euphoria. It was clebration throughout the United States America. It was celebration in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Certainly, it was celebration in Haiti as well because one of their own, Jozy Altidore, had also fought hard throughout the whole game to help the USA book their ticket into the round of 16. For me, it was emotional as well as friends, family members, and colleagues kept calling me. The Americans did not give up. They fought until the last cartouche. They have fought hard to earn their respect. And they have done so.
During this emotional game, Former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, was biting his nails because the moment appeared to be bleak for the Americans. However, I knew deep down that with a motto: “In God We Trust”, the gods of football could not fight the Almighty God. It was unbelievable! It was truly unbelievable! It was indeed unbelievable! The Americans are moving on to sweet 16. This is what the World Cup is all about; it is having the will; it is having the determination; it is having the desire to fight until the last minute; it is about bringing joy to a whole nation; it is about overcoming obstacles in the most difficult moments. It is about having patience! The Americans have done it. They have done it. They truly have done it with style by winning their group. It was an emotional game that sent joy to a whole nation. A nation where football usually takes back seat to American Football, Basketball and Baseball; Today Soccer/ Football is KING in the United States of America. June 23rd 2010 is a day to remember in American Sport.
If the United States were fighting with Algeria, England seemed to have things under control with Slovenia after Defoe put them 1-0 to give a breathing room to the British people. It was a relief for Fabio Capello and his students. England has obtained their ticket to the round of 16 and refused to become a disgrace like the French national team.
In the other games, Ghana had to face Germany and Serbia had to face Australia. Germany is Germany, and most pundits did claim them to win the game. Ghanians did not make it easy for the Germans and they have wasted lot of clear scoring opportunities. However, when a team keeps missing so many opportunities, the Germans will make you pay. The Germans are always ready for the big occasion and they have shown that today by beating Ghana 1-0. I must thank one of readers, Ulrich of Germany, for sending me some info on the Boateng brothers. Jerome Boateng plays for Germany and Kevin-Prince Boateng plays for Ghana. Both Brothers advanced to the sweet 16. We must congratulate the Ghanaian Internationals for being the only African team to represent Africa in the next round. We must not forget Australia who have fought so hard and they could have made it to the round of sixteen as well had they not lost their 1st game 4-0 against Germany. Goal Differential (GD) ended up deciding the fate of the Australians and therefore they have to leave South Africa for Sydney. However, they have beaten Serbia 2-1. For Serbia, they have missed so many opportunities in the first half against Australia and therefore they have paid the consequences by booking their tickets to go home.
In the round of 16, USA will face Ghana and England will face Germany.
Later on today, there will be the following games: Italy vs Slovakia; Paraguay vs New Zealand; Denmark vs Japan and Cameroon vs Netherlands.
Today we have seen the fighting spirit of the Americans. We have seen the resilience of Germany. We have seen the determination of the Ghanaians and we have seen England refused to follow the shameful path of the French Internationals. On the other hand, we have admired the courage of the Australians; we have seen the Algerians make it difficult for the Americans and we have wondered what has happened to Serbia.
However, the Day belongs to the United States of America with the motto: “In God We Trust.”
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