After 35 straight wins for Team Spain, their almighty streak came to an end against perhaps the most unlikely of opponents, that one country that doesn’t even call it football.
The United States, qualifying out of pool play with the fuzziest math this side of Bigfoot’s taxes, gained momentum out of the gates and somehow wound up with a 2-0 victory over España. I say “somehow,” because, holy jeezus, there were Spaniards in USA’s box for pretty much the entire 19th century.
Jozy Altidore’s opening goal in the 27th minute, trickling off keeper Iker Casillas’ hands and into the net, set the scoreboard in stone for the first half, 1-0. Clint Dempsey’s strike in the 73rd minute basically put the game away.
Those shots were impressive, yes, but Spain had six shots on goal and nine corners, compared to USA’s two SOG and three corners. Credit the lime-adorned Tim Howard for deflecting some dangerous balls out of harm’s way.
The United States now faces the winner of tomorrow’s Brazil-South Africa match, while Spain salvages their trip to South Africa with a third place game against the other team. Both games will take place June 28.
There are a couple items of bad news out of the American side. Midfielder Michael Bradley, the coach’s son, will not be part of the final as the result of a late red card. The other bad news? The United States was very, very luckyto win this game. It will take another performance like that to beat someone like Brazil, or even South Africa (since it’d be a home game) to win — perhaps a better one, one where the other team isn’t blasting shots at their goal for an entire half.