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June 22, 2014

Futblog! USA concedes late goal in 2-2 World Cup draw with Portugal; plus Hot Button Top 10 debut, get-a-grip poll result & more

1) It is  SUNDAY, JUNE 22. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Get-a-Grip Heat poll, fun Marlins, Ricky Williams video, Futbol! World Cup and more. Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

1aa1abrazilwcFUTBLOG! UNITED STATES TRAILS, RALLIES, THEN IS TIED IN FINAL MINUTE VS. PORTUGAL: FUTBLOG! is the official World Cup post of this blog, a continually updated daily dose of the month-long soccer spectacle in Brazil. See earlier posts for earlier daily results and for group-by-group preview.

Day 11 / 6-22: MATCH OF DAY: U.S.A. 2, Portugal 2 (Group G): The U.S. put itself in strong shape with a 2-1 opening win over Ghana, while Portugal's 4-0 1aa1aussocceropening loss to Germany left it desperate. But the Americans had to match that imperative here to avoid absolutely needing to beat Germany in the next game. A draw is an OK result for the U.S. but a win would have assured an advance into the round of 16. Portugal had to win today. How and how well the Americans replace injured Jozy Altidore would be a key in this match. So would the health of Portugal's sublime Cristiano Ronaldo, who played, but whose left knee was less than fit. Portugal also was without Pepe after his silly/dumb headbutt red-card in the previous match. Americans trailed  1-0 very early, fought back for a 2-1 lead and were tied heartbreakingly in the final 39 seconds of extra time. I'd claim to have been an impartial journalist here, but the U.S. soccer shirt I was wearing might have given me away. "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Or, as I like to say: "Let's gooooooo States!"

Belgium 1, Russia 0 (Group H): Late goal forges a well-deserved win.

Algeria 4, Korea Republic 2 (Group H): Algerians up 4-0 before Koreans fought back.]

World Cup scoring statistics after today's play: 32 matches, 94 goals, 2.94 per.

HOT BUTTON: TOP 10 THINGS SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT: Hot Button 1aa1ahotbuttonmakes its blog debut today as our Sunday notes-column package in the print edition (newspaper) is on summer hiatus, set to return in August. Hot Button means what's on our minds as the week just past pivots to the week ahead:

1. World Cup: "U-S-A! U-S-A!": Exhilirating opening 2-1 win over Ghana segues to today's huge match vs. Portugal. On my count, America: "Let's gooooo States!"

2. Heat: LeBron's Decision II: Pat Riley told fans to "get a grip." All that matters is that LeBron James gets a grip on a pen and signs a Miami contract extension.

3. Marlins: Underdogs hanging in: Andrew Heaney's big-league debut and Marcell Ozuna's walk-off throw this week kept the Fish (mostly) fun to watch.

4. NBA Draft: Heat prepare for 26th pick: It's Thursday in Brooklyn, with the big news that Joel Embiid likely will fall from No. 1 spot after surgery on his foot and to remove that second 'i' from his name.

5. Panthers: New coach, draft on deck: Cats hire Montreal assistant Gerald Gallant, assuring a spate of awful headline puns. Draft is this coming Friday in Philly, with Florida picking No. 1 overall and expected to take defender Aaron Ekblad. For an analysis, let's go to Pierre Kiper Jr.

6. Dolphins: Moreno issues lowlight mini-camp: Team staged three-day minicamp, and biggest news out of it was that RB Knowshon Moreno is out of shape and may have degenerative knee problem. Oy.

7. NFL: More pressure on Redskins name: U.S. Patent Office ruled that "Redskins" is disparaging to Native Americans. "No it isn't!" said whitest-man-in-America Dan Snyder.

8. Wimbledon: Tennis' grandest major set to begin: Not sure who'll win it, but I bet the 'over' on breathless TV references to strawberries and cream.

9. Tiger Woods: Star finally makes return: Woods returns to PGA Tour this week with an eye on next month's British Open. Twelve weeks after back surgery, Tiger's back!

10. Clayton Kershaw: No-hitter best game ever?: No hits and perfection but for Dodger teammate Hanley Ramirez's error allowing one runner. Oh, and 15 strikeouts. Clayton K-shaw.

Poll result: We got a grip, Pat. Broad satisfaction with Heat: In the wake of Pat Riley advising fans to "get a grip" we asked how successful you think the first four years of the Big 3 era have been, and 56.6 percent said "unequivocal success," 34.0% said "mostly successful," and 3.7% said "somewhat successful." The rest, the 5.7% to whom Riley was apparently speaking, said "less than what I expected."

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What times does US vs Portugal start?

Thanks

Looks like 6 pm EST, on ESPN.

I just double checked my cable schedule and it shows that match starting at 5:30 EST, on ESPN.

The game will start at 6pm though...5:30-6 will be pre-game....this is how they have done all the games...

About 15 min before kick off, ref grabs game ball out of the tunnel, followed by the two teams each player holding hands with a kid. This is while the FIFA anthem plays. They line up, side by side, then do the two anthems. Minutes later, kick off.

Moreno situation is a slight concern at this point nothing more. My bet is he plays his way into shape and plays meaningful snaps this season. If he doesn't we are all set though david thinks Daniel Thomas is set to be the next Walter Payton no probs.

Big Baby,

well, the day has arrived for the match agaisnt portugal, minus at least three starters and with a sore/lame/gimpy ronaldo. methinks poretugal still has enough in the tank to compete with the USA, but it would be hellish to play germany with the top spot on the line for them. they keep 3-4 world class palyers on the pine and still are better tha most. ghana has proven to be a buzzsaw in the scoring dept., but that last horrible mistake they made on defense with their defender letting the ball cross over the line to give the US the corner that turned into the game winner. incredibly dumb play that nobody talks about. ghana can't compete with high crosses into the box and it showed last game. imagine what a mess the group would be had ghana held on for a draw. tomorrow el tri will have to be at its best as croatia is not a pushoever-stronger and taller tha the mexicans. i'd be very happy with another draw, but the'yd have to have another lights out game such as they had with the hosts for that to occur.

BB if I were a player I would be praying that david wasn't predicting that I would be a star. Poor Daniel Thomas he never had a chance with david's kiss of death.

I have been to the beautiful city of Porto Alegre, Brazil where the Korea/Algeria match is being played. It is not tropical there at all as it is in the far south of the county, and there was even snowfall there in 2012.

I also recall that some of the men's rooms there (and in other parts of Brazil) do not have enclosed stalls and men must have their bowel movements in front of each other. Nobody seemed to mind, though!

Mr. Woodcock,

hope you are ready to enjoy USA/portugal. methinks Big "!!!was spot on when he wrote to you that brazil/was as exciting as any match despite the score winding up w/o a score. a win tonight and the stars and stripes are through to the knockout stage; what is bizarre is that half the subs speak german as their mother tongue, with their dads being grigos and their moms frauleins. as madeline kahn strated in "blazing saddles"- "it's twoo, it's twoo

Mr. Woodcock,

second sentence should have read "Big Baby"!!! ejoy what should be a good result for the USA- even though portugal will remain competitive despite missing all those players, the gringos should win and move ahead of the krauts in the group. a must win for the USA against germany would yield a lot of pressure on the homeboys. hope you find the game to be a good watch.

Well, I did not know that about Brazilian bathroom but in Korea and other parts of Asia older, traditional mens rooms just feature a hole that you must squat over in full view of others.

Gary P.

those "squat holes" are a feature of the arab bathrooms in the old city of jerusalem. a few paces away in the jewish quarter one can sit in privacy.

Under racist apartheid conditions you have separate bathrooms? Whodathunk?

NOT EVER STATED...

tim howard "goes to ground" very easily and had he been standing might have stopped nani's goal. so far a good match and we'll see if the gringos can muster a couple of goals to make germany not so important. a tie puts everybody back in the picture on the day when they play the final group matches simultaneously. as they say-"gripping drama"!!!

I have been fortunate to travel all over the globe and I must say that the cleanest restrooms BY FAR I have ever seen are in wealthier Middle East nations. In places like Dubai, Qatar, and the United Arab Republic they are uniformly spotless, sanitary, and odor-free. Many of them even have those computerized toilets that self-sanitize after every use.

Actually, all the public spaces in those nations are amazingly clean compared to most of the world, including here.

We had em...AND WE LET EM OFF THE HOOK!!!!!!

Americans are not clean people, it is true.

Where's the best place to poop?!! Ok, understand the sports world is moving kind of slow now despite World Cup.
I'll play into the topic. The best place to take a dump is where ever you can find facilities capable of handling your needs 45 mins after a Taco Bell lunch & a cup of coffee.

Good game had to figure that Ronaldo would factor into the score sheet tonight. He looked out of sorts all game until that great cross in that never ending extra time period. Still a good result but it would have been nice to advance play for the tie against Germany if possible.

Shadow there is certainly a strong German connection on that US team. Seems Klinsmann may hold some influence over that even if just slightly. El tri will have their hands full with Croatia they are playing well. Bit of a heartbreaker but if you had told me the US would have 4 points after 2 matches I would have said excellent result.

Big Baby,

as much of a huge fan of the ever-scoring tough texan clint dempsey, i hold the same level of disregard for michael bradley. they said he had a great season in europe, but i have yet to see a game in which he really impresses me, unless you call the impression of not hitting a shot on an open goal which was struck right at a helpless portugese non-goalie who was defending the line. then you throw in that giveaway that yielded the tying goal in the absolute waning moments of the match. one effort from ronaldo was enough to save the day for the portugese. no surprise about clint dempsey scoring- it is news when he doesn't come up big in huge matches.

That's the 2nd game of late for Ronaldo's teams where perhaps a little too much time was added and his team took advantage. They added only 2 minutes in the first half for what should've been 15. However, it's not much to complain about, all we had to do was keep possession and the usually reliable Bradley blew it. The other game was the Champions League final. Atletico Madrid had the game won, about 2 too many minutes were added, and Real Madrid scored and won in OT. We're not out of it. We can even advance with a loss as long as it's not big and if Portugal beats Ghana by not much or it ends in a tie. A tie gets us in. You might think the Germans and US would play easy, but the Germans have well known history of collusion in their final match with Austria in 1982, at the expense ofvAlgeria. All eyes will be in them and they know it. .

I wasn't too crazy about the late subs either. Once again, Donovan would've controlled that ending.

shadow in the spirit of all things USA I cannot criticize Bradley. Yes he could have redirected that shot past the defender more deftly but it happened quickly and he isn't a striker. His game has actually improved since his father moved on from coaching he's found a better balance of skill and leadership.

Disappointing finish to the US/Portugal game but over all the Americanos are doing quite well ..

I am frequently in Japan and those old "squatting holes" are largely a thing of the past. Most Japanese restrooms are more modern and cleaner than American ones these days.

I would agree, however, that those Middle East nations you mentioned set the standard. It is like being in the future when you visit them, especially Dubai.

Big Baby, did you not see Bradley's lazily give up the ball leading to the goal? That was atrocious. So many things he could've done rather than try to dribble, and not work hard at it.

Bradley has been horrible these two games. Very unlike him. He was great in qualifying.

Hope Altidore is fit. Been rooting for Klose to break the scoring record, but not against us. Well, it's ok as long as we're up by 4 or 5.

Yes JF I saw it pretty good play on the ball though by the opposing player. Cameron deserves as much blame however for the first Portugal goal and he was beaten to the ball on the game winner despite it being a difficult play. Bradley was vg in qualifying so I guess I gave him a pass but if it continues Klinnsman could sit him have a good night.

not if could have him play the next game maybe. that is what I saw any ways and on the first time of the game they had it with about 15 minutes to go when they hen water break. well hope they won the next game it is aganst Germany or Netorlands

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