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Coming to you from Pittsburgh on the biggest day in American football history. The last match signaled our arrival as a footballing nation. We were disappointed with a 2-2 draw against the world’s best player. Now that everybody wants more, there’s no reason we can’t beat Germany. I am certain that Jurgen Klinsmann still has some tricks up his sleeve and he will certainly use them against his former squad and protégé Joachim Low. It’s going to be a huge match, I will be at the Claddagh on Pittsburgh’s Southside if you want to join me. The atmosphere has been incredible there for these matches. I really encourage you all to check it out.
Let’s move onto what happened in yesterday’s matches.
Lionel Messi put on a fantastic display as he scored two goals in Argentina’s 3-2 win over Nigeria. It took him less than three minutes to strike, pouncing on an Angel Di Maria blast that went off Vincent Enyeama and the post before Messi blasted it into the net. Nigeria responded immediately with a goal a minute later,
Ahmed Musa blasted a right footed shot from the right side of the penalty area on a counter attack. Nigeria refused to shy away from this game and they really made Argentina work for this win. Right before halftime, Messi struck again with an unstoppable free kick, truly a thing of beauty. There was nothing Enyeama could do about it and Argentina went into the break, up 2-1.
Ahmed Musa again answered the call shortly after halftime, playing a 1-2 with Emmanuel Eminike and finishing past Romero with ease. Marcos Rojo responded three minutes later with the match’s final goal which he scored by rising above the defense to head down and into the goal. It was a great performance from both teams, which sees both of them move on to the knockout stages. That happens because…
Bosnia-Herzegovina earned their first World Cup Finals victory in the history of their footballing nation. They ran out 3-1 winners over Iran, who managed to score their first goal of this World Cup as well. They never really gave Iran a chance in this match, they jumped out to a 3-0 lead with goals from Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic, and Avdjia Vrsajevic. Reza Ghoochannejhad scored the Iran’s first and only goal of this World Cup, with a tap in finish on the far post. Both of these teams go crashing out of the World Cup, but both do come away from this match with something to celebrate.
In our 4pm matches from yesterday, France and Ecuador played to a goalless draw. That result sees France go through and Ecuador crash out of the World Cup.
France will be joined by Switzerland in the knockout stages, who were lifted to a 3-0 victory over Honduras thanks to the efforts of Xherdan Shaqiri who scored a hat trick in this match. He started things off with a beautiful left footed curling effort from outside of the penalty area in the 6th minute. He struck again in the 31st minute, running onto a pass from Josip Drmic and finished home with authority. Drmic then had an assists on the third goal in the 71st minute, he skinned a defender on the left side and slotted a perfect pass to Shaqiri, who fired it home. A great Swiss performance, they could be a very dangerous team in the knockout stages of this tournament. First Swiss player with a hat trick at the World Cup since 1954.
Before we get to our results from the weekend and upcoming matches for tonight, here’s a new trivia segment sponsored by Ruffneck Scarves and Who Are Ya Designs. They make a tons of great shirts and scarves and sent me their #Murica shirt, so you should check them out at www.ruffneckscarves.com orwww.whoareyadesigns.com . That brings us to our trivia question for the day which is: Who scored the fastest goal in World Cup history? If you think you know the answer, Tweet me @IamSchaffer, respond on the Full Time Football Facebook Page, or comment on the blog. We’ll select the winner from the correct responses and send them a gift card so they can pick up some new gear. If you don’t know the answer, still go to ruffneckscarves.com or whoareyadesigns.com and buy a shirt for yourself or the football fan in your life.
Pittsburghers stick together... and so does Pittsburgh's soccer community.
At tomorrow's watch party at Latitude 40 we are going to be running a raffle to collect funds for the memorial fund of Matt Hegeman. He was one of the climbers that was killed in the avalanche on Mount Rainer a few months back. We are doing this because he was a Pittsburgher, and was a fellow soccer player, playing at Baldwin High School in the 90s. So if you’re at Latitude 40 tomorrow watching the USA vs. Germany match please donate whatever you can. A link to their YouCaring page can be found in the show notes for today’s episode.
In yesterday’s NWSL match of the day, Sky Blue FC were 2-1 winners over the Portland Thorns. Katy
Freels scored a beautiful chipped shot from distance in the 8th minute. Christine Sinclair responded with an equalizer in the 54th minute, but it was not enough for the Thorns. In the 65th minute, Lindsi Cutshall struck by heading home a set piece from Jonelle Filigno.
Manchester City has completed the signing of Brazilian midfielder Fernando from Porto. The 26 year old will wear the #6 shirt for them next season.
According to Sky Sports, Adidas are holding a meeting to consider whether they will continue their relationship with Luis Suarez in the wake of the superstars latest biting incident.
Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari have been dismissed from the Ghana National Team squad. This likely signals the end of Prince’s Ghana career. He had previously retired from the national team to avoid the travel rigors of the qualifying campaign. Sulley was ineligible for today’s match because of suspension and allegedly chased a member of the Ghana FA around the hotel with a broken bottle. You’ve probably heard stories of Ghanaian president John Dramani Manama arriving in Brazil with a briefcase of $3 million in cash for player bonuses. Defender John Boye has been pictured kissing his share of the $3 million.
Pirlo has changed his mind about international retirement and said if the new Italy manager needs his services, he would meet the call.
Upcoming matches for today:
Of course we have the United States taking on Germany at Noon today. Ghana vs. Portugal will also be taking place simultaneously. The United States will advance with a win or draw. Low scoring in the Ghana vs. Portugal match should be encouraged.
At 4PM, Belgium will be taking on South Korea in a match in which they will be missing their captain Vincent Kompany, who has a groin injury. Belgium have already secured their place in the knockout stages.
Algeria faces off against Russia and would advance with a draw. Russia can go through with a win.