Iran shuts out noise at World Cup but United States looms large
The noise coming out of the streets of Istanbul on Sunday may have drowned out the chants of the English fans at the World Cup but it didn’t hide the thunderous roar emanating from the stands at Besiktas Stadium during their 1-0 win over the Americans on Wednesday.
For the first time ever the host nation defeated its opposition in a group of nations at a major international tournament. But can the team from the United States repeat the performance on the biggest stage of their lives?
For the first time ever, the United States has been outplayed by all opponents at a major international tournament.
The noise wasn’t enough to silence the crowd’s roar – the U.S. was the only one to get a goal in four matches against opponents including Nigeria, Argentina and Uruguay – but their team was hardly intimidated either.
“It’s a credit to the coaching staff,” said midfielder Michael Bradley. “To be able to see the way the guys are playing and the way they’re playing at this level, I think it’s an indication that, no matter what, they’re going to be in the World Cup.”
The U.S. began their reign as the world’s undisputed power on Monday.
After beating Portugal on penalties, they took their first and only points with victory over Ghana on Wednesday with a second goal from midfielder Clint Dempsey.
That goal came on a penalty kick taken in the 74th minute after Ghana goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama had made a poor clearance. Bradley picked up the ball on the left flank and crossed it to Dempsey, who then calmly tucked the ball inside Enyeama.
“There’s some good things happening in this team and some bad things, but those bad things aren’t things that concern you,” Bradley said after the match.
“We’ve got to continue to see that, and we’ve got to keep improving as a team.”
The Americans have been on a