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Photo Credit: Reuters
The archway under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO was filled with US (and a few outcast German) fans today for the World Cup match between the U.S. and Germany.
Stakes were high as the US needed a draw or a win to assure their advancement into the knockout stages.
In the rather uneventful match, the crowd under the bridge kept up the energy, creating an environment not typical of a Thursday afternoon lunch break. The fans cheered after takeaways, substitutions, and the few offensive chances USA had, while the archway acoustics amplified "U-S-A" and "I Believe That We Will Win" chants.
The first half, filled with "oohs" and "ahhs," ended scoreless after the German team failed to convert on some defensive flubs made by the US team. The US team had trouble creating much chance for themselves against the strong German defense but when they did, the crowd's energy rose in anticipation.
When the German team made their advances, the crowd winced, hoping the ball would be booted away. And many of the times it was. Until the 55th minute. After US keeper Tim Howard stopped a header from Per Mertesacker, the crowd went wild. But the rebound fell onto the feet of Tomas Müller, who booted it back past a defender and into the right corner of the net.
The cheering from the stopped shot was confusing to some of the spectators, who thought the US had scored and erupted in a second cheer. But they stopped embarrassingly after noticing most of the crowd sighed and German players celebrated on the screen.
After realizing the game on the main screen would be hard to win, the fans kept their eyes on the other game being projected onto a wall between Ghana and Portugal. If the two teams tied, the US would advance. Ghana had a goal differential that made them dangerous, and if they won with enough goals, the US might not advance. Portugal's goal differential was big enough that their winning would be safe for the US.
After the half, Portugal led 1-0 - safe. Then Ghana tied the game immediately after The US fell down to Germany. Scary times. But when Ronaldo scored for Portugal in the 80th minute, those among the crowd watching the second game erupted, prompting a loud cheer from the entire crowd. The US were even safer.
On the main screen, though, the US kept trying. With one good chance towards the end, the crowd leapt in frustration after Clint Dempsey still couldn't convert.
At the final whistle, both matches were over and the results stood. 1-0 Germany and 2-1 Portugal. Though the US didn't score, they came in second in the group and will advance to the knockout stage. The crowd gave a long appreciative cheer at the end and went home happy despite the loss.
World Cup Under the Archway, presented by the DUMBO Improvement District, features the screening of more than 60 hours of matches throughout the World Cup. All events are free and open to the entire community, regardless of age. Here is the schedule:
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