Landon Donovan scored today's winning goal!As if it was even possible to top the excitement of the U.S.'s World Cup game last Friday, the home team advanced to the next round today after midfielder Landon Donovan (bless you, bless you Landon Donovan) fired a missile into the bottom left side of the net in the final minutes of a do-or-die game against Algeria.
USA actually scored very early on in the game, but in keeping with all the other crappy calls the refs have been making, particularly against Team USA, they called an off-sides and ruled it no good. It was a goal. The refs might not do instant replays in soccer, but TV does. Everyone saw it and it was a bona fide goal and another bad call. Just like last Friday's foul that caused the U.S. to leave the match against Slovenia with a 2-2 tie.
My hands still hurt from the high-fives I just gave to colleagues at work, where we all gathered to watch the game. This victory has made all those wasted work hours over the past week worth it!
Lots of my friends watched at their workplaces today. One was watching in a packed conference room at his law firm. When the U.S. scored, the room erupted. Someone conducting a deposition in the next room told them to keep it down, but they ignored it. My husband works in a public school and he was streaming the game through his computer in between classes. How could you not watch? How could your boss not let you watch? It would be unpatriotic not to. I'm finally starting to get why all the other countries of the world view the World Cup as a religion.
The World Cup is one of the biggest work hour wasters worldwide, but it only falls fourth in the U.S., after March Madness, the Super Bowl, and Fantasy Football. By the time the games end on July 11, it will cost American companies about $121.7 million in lost productivity. That's pretty good when you consider what countries that are far more soccer-obsessed than we are will lose. Consider Britain, a much smaller country, which stands to lose $7.36 BILLION.
Oh, and by the way, they won today too, beating Slovenia, 1 to nil. Go England! I can say that now, but England's goal early in their game left the U.S. in a precarious position. Had the U.S. tied with Algeria and failed to score their critical goal in the 91st minute of today's game, they would have had to pack their bags and head home.
Instead, they're celebrating making it to Round Two, woo-hoo! Next USA game: This Saturday, against a team to be determined. At least we won't be wasting any work hours.