The United States’ run in the World Cup came to a heartbreaking end on Tuesday, with a 2-1 extra time loss to Belgium in the Round of 16. Tim Howard called the loss “heartbreaking”. But is it more heartbreaking than their 2010 loss to Ghana (also in extra time and also in the Round of 16)?
Tale of the tape
Tale of the Tape: US Loss to Belgium vs. Loss to Ghana
|The Belgians scored twice in the first extra time session. Julian Green scored early in the second session to give the US hope, but the Americans missed multiple golden opportunities to tie, including two point-blank looks that were either saved or missed high.||How They Lost||Allowed a gorgeous goal in the 93rd minute to fall behind 2-1. Only pressured Ghana in the final minute of extra time.|
|The Belgians dominated play for the entire game. Without Howard’s unreal 16-save day, the US loses 3- or 4-0. They were lucky to even be in extra time.||Overall Performance||The US controlled play throughout the second half, being unable to find the go-ahead goal that they deserved|
|Off a set piece, the US drew up a perfect play to stun Belgium. Three quick touches and Clint Dempsey was all alone in front, but Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois saved the day. Seven out of 10 times that’s a goal.||Best Chance to Tie||In the final moments of the 120th minute, Dempsey had a shot blocked inside the box. The US would miss twice on long-range shots before the game ended. Fairly anti-climactic.|
|Tim Howard’s 16 saves were the most in a World Cup match since 1966. His account (@TimHowardGK) was mentioned over 1.8 times on Twitter, while the name Tim Howard was brought up in one out of every five tweets.||America’s Newest Hero||Landon Donovan cemented his status as a US legend the game before against Algeria. No one entered folk lore from this contest.|
|Soldier Field in Chicago and AT&T Stadium each had viewing parties of over 20,000 people. TV ratings hit all-time highs for soccer. There were over nine million tweets about the game. America is in full soccer frenzy, making the loss a harder pill to swallow.||Reactions Back Home||At the time, the over 19 million who watched the loss set a US television record for soccer. But there were not hundreds of thousands lining up across the country to watch together in stadiums, and Twitter was not quite the staple in society it is now.|
The winner is
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