MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Although the United States Men’s National Team was just minutes away from punching its ticket into the knockout round at the World Cup, Mount Vernon sports fans have refused to give up on their team.
By virtue of a Clint Dempsey goal in the 81st minute, the Yanks held a 2-1 lead as regulation expired, but in the 95th minute, Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo sent a cross into the box that Silvestre Varela buried past goalie Tim Howard to dash the American’s dream with just seconds to spare before the final whistle.
In Mount Vernon, John Vega, who noted he is not a diehard soccer fan outside of the World Cup, said he was screaming at his television anyway as time expired.
“I couldn’t believe it man, I was going nuts,” he said while playing with his daughter, Marley. “I don’t watch much soccer outside of the World Cup, but these games have been a lot of fun just as a sports fan.”
If the Americans could have held on, the team would have led the purported “group of death,” with six points and ensured they would move on to the round of 16. Instead, as they prepare to face a German squad ranked second in the world, the Americans need at least a draw to ensure they advance.
With a loss, America’s fate will be determined by the Ghana-Portugal matchup and potentially several tiebreakers.
“We had it. And then it was just gone,” 1st Avenue resident Willie Garner said. “We love the World Cup in our house. That last goal of ours should have done it. That was brutal.”
Although the result wasn’t ideal, Mount Vernon resident Brian Thomas noted that managing four points against Portugal (ranked fourth) and Ghana (37th) is still a big deal for an American squad that is on the rise.
“I don’t think it will be easy, but Germany doesn’t have a ton to play for. A nice draw and they’re both in, they should collude,” he said. “Yesterday’s game was a letdown, but they still control their own fate and just need (a draw).”