The U.S. national soccer team's 1-0 loss to Germany on Thursday wasn't an ideal outcome for the hundreds of World Cup fans gathered at the Hermosa Beach Pier, but it was tempered by the fact that both teams will be moving on to the knockout stage.
Despite the scoreboard, fans cheered and waved flags as they chanted "I believe we can win."
Luis Dominguez, 18, of Gardena enjoyed the game, saying, "Unfortunately, we lost but fortunately we are going to move into the second round."
The outcome also means that the U.S. can rest until Tuesday, the last day for the Round of 16, before facing the Group H winner, likely Belgium. Germany resumes Monday against the runner-up from H, with Algeria momentarily holding the edge.
For many fans, it was also about being among peers as they rooted the U.S. on. Earlier in the morning, car horns honked and flags waved as the excitement turned to the action on a jumbo screen set up by the L.A. Galaxy on the pier.
The crowd "gets you hyped up, makes you feel good," said Ray Ricafort, 31, of Long Beach.
The U.S. had been holding off an aggressive attack by the Germans through the first half, adding to the excitement on the pier and raising the possibility of a draw, or even a win.
"I think it's pretty even," said Mundo Amador, 41, of Lakewood. "I see Germany on the attack, but the U.S. is looking pretty good at defending itself."
But not long into the second half, Germany scored what would be the only goal of the match. Due to World Cup ranking formula, however, the U.S. was still in the running "as long as Portugal doesn't score four goals," Amador said.
In fact, Portugal would only score twice to beat Ghana 2-1. That leaves the U.S. ahead in terms of number of overall goals scored, pushing the Americans into the knockout round.