Augusto Lima, a rising junior on the Crusader men's soccer team, calls Brazil home and this summer, Brazil is the host country for the 2014 World Cup. Lima will be blogging throughout the duration of the World Cup with his first-hand insight into the atmosphere, game action and more surrounding the global event.
The first round of games is over. For now we have watched a very entertaining World Cup; many goals, many good matches and some surprising results.
Brazilians were very anxious for Brazil's first match. It is the tradition here for friends and family to gather, usually in someone's house, to watch the game. Restaurants and bars also stream the games and are usually very full during the matches. For the first game we had over fifty people including friends and family in the house to watch the first match. The living room was crowded with a stadium-like atmosphere; everyone screaming at the TV and arguing with one another on who is playing well and who isn't and what changes should the coach make (Brazilians think they are soccer experts).
Brazil's own goal was a shock; no one was expecting getting scored on so soon into the game. That wasn't the best start but the team stepped up, scoring three goals, including a debatable penalty call that got a lot of attention from the media. Brazil's second match didn't end up too well: a draw with no goals. Some saw that as a disaster and the newspapers this morning already demanded changes in the starting line-up; I saw it as a tough game where Brazil played better, having the better chances but getting unlucky, having shots stopped on the Mexican goalkeeper's outstanding saves.
For the U.S. national team, what a great start. Scoring in the very first minute made it a lot easier in a sense. On the other hand, the Americans had to defend against the pressure from the Ghanaians for the rest of the match. Eventually the defense gave in and Ghana tied the match. It has happened many times in this World Cup already: a team that is winning gets scored on once and very quickly gets scored on again and loses the match. It happened to Algeria, Uruguay, Croatia, Japan and Ecuador but the American team was mature and didn't fall apart. On the next chance – a corner [kick] – the U.S. scored and got up on the scoreboard again, this time too late in the match for Ghana to react.
This was a crucial win for the US and a win against Portugal [on Sunday] could get them into the next round. I think the U.S. has a good chance to win this match taking into consideration the boost in confidence by starting the tournament with a win. On the other side, Portugal's confidence is as low as possible after a bad loss to Germany.