A raucous crowd of over three hundred bellowed and cheered, preparing for New York City biergarten Zum Schneider’s public viewing of the World Cup match between the United States and Germany.
Hopeful fans of both countries began lining up outside the gates of Solar One Park along the East River hours before game time. There was no love lost between the two sides, with some United States fans joking about the game’s importance since it was merely a battle; they had already won the war (twice).
Fans on both sides were confident that the game would produce positive results.
“We’re more conditioned to play in the heat in Brazil,” bragged US supporter Ian Scott of Manhattan. “Plus, we’ve got the Klinsmann advantage and the team is playing with confidence.”
The fitness that many of the United States’ supporters boasted about seemed non-existent in the first half. On multiple occasions, the German squad was just one touch away from putting one in the net. The American Outlaws remained resilient, keeping the game scoreless at halftime.
German supporters were thrilled to see their team dominating.
“Germany has been killing it this World Cup,” said Kirbi Marquez. “They’re a well oiled machine.”
In the 55th minute, Germany finally broke through. Twenty-four year old striker Thomas Müller retrieved a rebound at the top of the penalty area and planted a sure-footed chance into the net behind disappointed goalkeeper Tim Howard.
The situation became even more troublesome for the U.S when it was announced that Ghana had scored in their match against Portugal. It was an equalizer, but more importantly, it cut the United States’ advantage in goal differential to just one.
Fanatical U.S supporter Chris Knutson slunk in despair.
“I’m from North Dakota where there isn’t much going on. We live for two things; oil and the U.S. Men’s National Team," he said.
Fans like Chris bit their nails as Germany continued their onslaught upon the U.S defensive corps. Then, as the German attack began to slow a bit, fans rejoiced. Portugal took the lead over Ghana, stamping the United States’ ticket to the Round of 16.
Tim Howard made a few key saves toward the end, and the U.S even came within a few feet of tying the game off a header by American hero Clint Dempsey. When the final whistle blew, the game stood at 1-0, with both teams set to advance.
For finishing at the top of the group of death, Germany is rewarded with the runner-up of Group H in the next round. The Americans will play the winner, which will be another tough game against a skilled Belgium squad.