The word “heartbreaking” flew around Twitter after Portugal’s Silvestre Varela snatched a win out of the hands of the United States with a late goal to force a 2-2 draw in a World Cup Group G match Sunday. After the tie, the focus of U.S. fans shifted to the potentially decisive upcoming game against Germany.
Drew J. Ross tweeted: "Heartbreaking result for the #USMNT, deserved better but must take the point and cut a deal w/ the Germans for the draw…great playing #USA."
Yael Averbuch, a midfielder for the U.S. women’s team, wrote: "Heartbreaking for the #USMNT. So many last minute goals in this World Cup. Now everything is riding on this third game..."
The 2-2 draw determined only that Group G would remain wholly undetermined until the final group matches. Germany, Ghana, Portugal and the U.S. all still have a chance to advance to the knockout round.
Some observers found silver linings in the last-minute tie.
ESPN college football analyst and soccer fan Kirk Herbstreit weighed in on the result: "So, think of this. All I heard was the Group of Death at the beginning of the WC. Tough draw sure, but @ussoccer has a W & a draw. Not bad."
Eileen Cullina wrote: "Regardless of the outcome today's game made me a legitimate believer in @ussoccer #USMNT."
Other fans were not quite as positive. A good bit of frustration was directed toward midfielder Michael Bradley.
Jordon Welle tweeted: "Not really mad at anyone or anything, but Michael Bradley HAS to play better. Probably the worst all-around game from him in 2 years."
Sergio Gomez added: "Michael Bradley's performance was terrible today. Missed an open goal and lost the ball that gave Portugal the tie."
If the U.S. and Germany tie Thursday, both teams will advance to the knockout stage. This knowledge led people on Twitter to post interesting proposals for game strategy.
Dave Zirin suggested: "USA-Germany should just do the Electric Slide for 90 minutes. Then both advance."
Danny Domingo tweeted: "US and Germany should just stand there for 90 minutes."
AJ Cochran added: "Germany and USA need to have a little meeting and decide to Draw next game. Both sides go through. Juggle for 90min."
The U.S. is a country supposedly uninterested in soccer, but the topic is trending, with momentum building up to Thursday’s game against Germany. Stay tuned.