June 25, 2014

Direct Kick: Everything riding on Thursday’s match

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Thirty seconds. That’s all that stood between the United States booking its spot in the knockout round of the World Cup.

Thirty seconds.

The U.S. held a 2-1 lead over Portugal in Sunday’s match with 30 seconds left in added time. That’s when Cristiano Ronaldo found Varela, who headed the ball past Tim Howard for the equalizing goal that salvaged a 2-2 draw and broke the hearts of millions of U.S. soccer fans.

A win would have assured the United States a spot in the knockout round no matter the outcome of Thursday’s match with Germany. Now, the U.S. must get a result, either a win or a tie with the Germans, to advance. And that’s no easy task.

The U.S. and Germany both have four points, while Portugal and Ghana have a point each. You get three points for a win and one point for a draw in the group stage. Should the U.S. and Germany tie, they would both finish with five points and both would advance no matter what happens in the Portugal-Ghana match.

Beating the Germans will be a tall task for the U.S. A tie is doable. Even if the U.S. loses to Germany, there is still a chance for them to advance. If Ghana and Portugal tie and the U.S. loses, they would still advance. And if they lose they could still win the tiebreaker versus the Portugal-Ghana winner. Ghana would qualify if either game is decided by a margin of two goals or more. If the U.S. loses by one goal, Ghana would need to win by two goals or be involved in a higher-scoring one-goal win. For instance, a 1-0 scoreline in both games would put the United States through on head-to-head. So if the U.S. loses 1-0, then Ghana must win 2-1 to qualify on goals scored.

It’s much harder for Portugal to surpass the U.S. They would need a goal-difference swing of five to qualify. I don’t see that happening.

According to the updated Soccer Power Index, Germany has a 99.7 percent chance of advancing, while the U.S. has a 75.8 percent chance. Ghana sits at 19.1 percent and Portugal, 5.4.

So while things are a little more difficult, it’s not over with yet. Of course it would have been nice to have wrapped things up on Sunday and not have to go into the Germany match needed a result or help. But that’s soccer. While it can be beautiful, it can also be cruel sometimes. Just ask England and Spain. Two matches in and they have already been eliminated.

Even if the U.S. doesn’t advance, at least they can say they lasted longer than those two soccer powers.

I know that’s a small consolation. But it’s something.

Text Only
  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: A little effort can make a big difference

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results