Belgium defeats USA 2-1 in Extra Time and Argentina breaks Swiss hearts 1-0

Belgium scored an early goal in extra time to take a quick lead. The game went to overtime after regulation ended with the score 0-0.

In the knockout round, there are 30 minutes of overtime and then a round of penalty kicks until the tie is broken.

Belgium has been “far more consistent” than the U.S. team, according to USA TODAY’s analysis, but U.S. goalie Tim Howard is keeping the American team in the match.

The last, and only, time the U.S. team ever won a Round of 16 match was in 2002. That year marked the furthest the U.S. team had advanced since it made the semifinals in 1930.

Belgium to the final 8 after defeating USA in Extra time!

Final Score: Belgium 2-1 USA

1st Goal: Du Bruyne (Belgium) scores: 93′

2nd Goal: Lukaku (Belgium) Scores: 105′

3rd Goal: Green (USA) Scores: 107′

Live Score on ECB on your Right! ~>

 

 Argentina breaks Swiss hearts 1-0 in Extra Time

Even by Lionel Messi’s standards at what is an ever more extraordinary World Cup, this was late.

But once again Messi was the difference. Once again an Argentina team that continues to disappoint was exposed as desperately over-reliant on their magical, masterful No10.

He was not the scorer of the winning goal on this occasion. That honour would fall to Angel Di Maria. But he was the provider of a perfectly-weighted  ball after a trademark run that saw him ride one challenge before inviting his international colleague to score.

For Switzerland it was so, so cruel. For 118 minutes they had more than provided an answer to the best that Argentina could throw at them.

Indeed they were the better team; certainly the creators of the better first half chances. Chances that will leave them only with regrets that they did at least not take this last 16 encounter to penalties.

Even after Di Maria’s goal they had opportunities, the sight of Blerim Dzemaili’s close-range header bouncing off the post – before rebounding off him and trickling wide – making defeat all the more painful for Ottmar Hitzfeld and his team.

Argentina were so desperately disappointing in this game even if Hitzfeld, twice a Champions League winner, did once again prove himself a master tactician.

Messi endured comfortably his worst game of the tournament, struggling to escape the attention of a superbly drilled Swiss defence until that decisive run; the first time he had really got beyond the Swiss midfield to take on their back four.

While Di Maria actually had a dreadful game, losing possession no less than 37 times in normal time.

If the Swiss were crushed by France in the group stages, conceding five goals, they were defensively brilliant this time. Further evidence, surely, of the impact a decent international manager can have on his players.

For the Argentina fans it was nothing short of torture. For the thousands of yellow-shirted Brazilians more enjoyable. They delighted in Xherdan Shaqiri’s fearless attacking football, even if he was a little too elaborate at times. Echoes of a young Cristiano Ronaldo. But he posed constant danger to a stuttering, static Argentina.

Late goal rescues Portugal against USA and Belgium against Russia, While Algeria upsets South Korea with 4 goals!

A superb header by Silvestre Varela deep into time added on saved world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal from crashing out of the World Cup finals on Sunday as it secured a 2-2 draw with the United States.

The Americans had looked to be safely into the last 16 after second-half goals by Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey saw them come back from 1-0 down – a goal by Nani – to lead.

However, with only seconds remaining one sublime cross from a pretty anonymous Ronaldo was met by Varela and it soared past Tim Howard to give Portugal a lifeline as a further defeat after the 4-0 hammering by Germany in the opening game would have seen them out.

The United States – who reached the last 16 in 2010 only to lose to Ghana – are on four points along with Germany, who they play in their final group game, and who their coach Jurgen Klinsmann led at the 2006 finals.

Ghana and Portugal both have one point and play also on Thursday.

Klinsmann, who was also within seconds of being the first coach to guide the USA to two successive wins at a finals since 1930, was phlegmatic about the dramatic dashing of their hopes.

“Obviously the last second is unfortunate but my guys were magnificent,” said Klinsmann, who won the 1990 World Cup as a player.

“We just have to get a result against Germany. Obviously the Germans have a day more to recover and we have had further to travel for our game but then the big guys are the ones that get the favourite treatment.

“My guys went to the limit but now they have to pick themselves up and despite this result we will go into the game with a lot of confidence.”

The Portuguese got just the start they needed to settle their nerves as a terrible defensive error by Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron – the ball flying off his boot to Nani — saw the Manchester United winger wait for Howard to commit himself before rifling the ball into the net.

It had been preempted by an outrageous piece of skill by Ronaldo down the left side, completely bewitching three American players as they tried to corral him out on the touchline, only for a series of step overs and a backheel to see him squirm through the three of them.

Conditions even in the evening were so draining that five minutes from the break, when Jermaine Jones received some treatment, the referee allowed both sides to rehydrate with a drinks break.

Howard, who was earning his 102nd cap, kept his side in the game on the stroke of half-time as he somehow managed to stick a hand out as he dived the wrong way to tip a pointblank shot by Eder over the bar.

There was an even finer block the other end 10 minutes into the second-half as Bradley’s goalbound effort from only 10 yards out saw defender Ricardo Costa spread himself deflect the ball off his knee for a corner, earning a well deserved kiss on the head from goalkeeper Beto.

The Americans, though, deservedly levelled in the 64th minute as Jones produced a pearler of a right-footed shot from outside the area, leaving Beto rooted to the spot.

Ronaldo and the Portuguese appeared shellshocked and it was the Americans who grabbed a second as Bradley’s shot rebounded to Graham Zusi off a defender and his cross was put into the net by Dempsey’s stomach for his fourth goal at a World Cup finals.

That looked to be that until, like Lionel Messi with his late goal against Iran on Saturday, Ronaldo summoned up one piece of class with his pinpoint cross, which was enough to break American hearts.

 

Belgium beat Russia with late goal

Teenage substitute Divock Origi slammed a last-gasp goal Sunday to secure Belgium a 1-0 victory over Russia and a place in the World Cup’s last 16.

The win was a new step in Belgium’s emergence as a European power, 12 years after their last appearance at the World Cup finals. Russia, who are to host the 2018 finals, have a growing qualification mountain in front of them.

The 19-year-old Origi who plays with Lille in France came on for Romelu Lukaku as the frustrating Group H game seemed destined to end in stalemate until the 88th minute goal.

Seconds after fellow substitute Kevin Mirallas had hit Igor Akinfeev’s post with a free kick, Eden Hazard burst down the left past two defenders and pulled the ball back for Origi to hit into the net from close range.

The win left Belgium as clear Group H leaders with a maximum six points from two games after their 2-1 win over Algeria.

Russia are in danger of going out having started with a draw against South Korea following a huge blunder by keeper Igor Akinfeev.

Now coach Fabio Capello must rally the troops for a do or die contest against Algeria in the last game of the first round group on Thursday.

Belgium and Russia made a bright start and the opening minutes saw chances at both ends.

Victor Fayzulin, a Zenit St Petersburg midfielder full of running, swept into the the box and fired in a low effort that Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois smartly stopped low to his right

The Belgians, coached by Marc Wilmots, who scored in a 3-2 win for his country in a 2002 group meeting against Russia, responded as Dries Mertens pulled the midfield strings.

Mertens accelerated into the danger zone only to thump an effort wide of the right hand post of Akinfeev, retained despite his butterfingers mistake against the Koreans in Cuiaba.

Mertens drilled another effort wide as the Belgians, semi-finalists in 1986 when they were finally undone by Diego Maradona, turned the screw.

With the runners-up in the group likely to face Germany, assuming the three-time champions top their group, there was every incentive for both sides to chase the win.

Russia enjoyed a purple patch as the opening half came to an end, Fayzulin smacking a volley just over following a corner.

Denis Glushakov, booked for clattering Merhrtens, then crossed for Alexander Kokorin, who avoided being the meat in a Vertonghen-Vincent Kompany sandwich but sent a free header off target.

 Algeria upset South Korea in six-goal thriller

Algeria ended their win-less World Cup run in style as they hammered South Korea 4-2 to keep their dream of a place in the knockout stages very much alive.

The Desert Warriors attacked from the kick off and should have had a penalty inside 10 minutes whenSofiane Feghouli was felled in the area.

But they didn’t have too long to wait to celebrate as Slimani rampaged onto Carl Medjani’s ball over the top, held off two defenders and clipped a neat finish beyond Jung Sung-ryong.

It was a moment of pure ecstasy for the Algerians and just two minutes later they were propelled into dreamland as Fulham reject Rafik Halliche rose highest to thump home a header from a left-wing corner.

The South Koreans had no answer to the vibrant play of Vahid Halilhodzic’s side and it was three just seven minutes before the break when Slimani made the most of a long ball and coolly rolled it to Abdelmoumen Djabou to steer past the keeper.

The Taeguk Warriors responded after the break and pulled one back through Son-Heung Min’s superb turn and shot before Yacine Brahimi restored the three-goal advantage with a low finish after exchanging a wonderful one-two.

South Korea kept going and Koo Ja-cheol diverted home with 18 minutes left but Algeria held on to claim their first World Cup win since 1982 and become the first ever African side to score four goals in a finals match.

Germany vs. Portugal: 4-0 Müller nets hat-trick as Die Mannschaft cruise to victory and John Brooks Leads United States Past Ghana 2-1!

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Germany started their World Cup campaign with a dominant 4-0 win over 10-man Portugal in Salvador. Thomas Müller netted a hat-trick en route to their massive victory, with Die Mannschaftputting their opponents to the sword after the Selecção had defender Pepe sent off in the first half.

Despite Germany’s eventual dominance, the game actually started quite evenly. Cristiano Ronaldo was denied by the shins of Manuel Neuer, seconds before Sami Khedira missed an open goal from distance after Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patrício made a sloppy giveaway from his own box. Both sides looked rather unconvincing defensively, and given the top class attacking talent on show, an opening goal felt imminent.

So it proved, with Germany’s Thomas Müller breaking the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 11th minute after João Pereira ended a swift German counter-attack by tugging Mario Götze down in the box. There was still no sign of a Portugal collapse, even when they went two down after the half-hour. A corner fromToni Kroos was powered into the back of the net by Mats Hummels, doubling Die Mannschaft‘s advantage with another set-piece goal.

Fábio Coentrão had Portugal’s best chance within three minutes of Germany’s second, though caught in two minds as to whether to cross or shoot from a tight angle, his tame effort was poked behind for a corner. Things only really started getting ugly a couple of minutes later, when notoriously temperamental defender Pepe raised his arm to the face of Müller and earned a red card for headbutting him once he theatrically hit the deck.

With their numerical superiority, Germany suddenly looked in total control. They all but sealed the points in stoppage time at the end of the first half, when a deep cross from Toni Kroos was chested down in the penalty area and promptly dispatched by Müller.

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Germany should have netted a fourth within minutes of the restart, when Mesut Özil found himself clean through on Patrício’s penalty area. However, he delayed his shot, giving the Portugal keeper enough time to get down and deny him in the one-on-one. Unfortunately that only proved to be a brief break in Portugal’s misery, which continued when left-back Coentrão was stretchered off just past the hour.hi-res-6bf9d31632d80d1bef51470a626a27ab_crop_exact

Meanwhile, Germany looked like they were participating in a training ground possession exercise. They appeared capable of breaking through the Portuguese ranks at will, and they did so with about 20 minutes remaining, only for Götze to hesitate and allow the defence to recover position. Nevertheless, Germany did eventually add a fourth with 10 minutes remaining; Patricío allowing an André Schürrle cross to squirm out for Müller to poke home.

Cristiano Ronaldo almost produced a spectacular consolation with a powerful free-kick in stoppage time, though Neuer parried his stinging effort.

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Germany: Neuer; Höwedes, Hummels (Mustafi 73′), Mertesacker, Boateng; Khedira, Lahm, Kroos; Götze, Özil (Schürrle 63′), Müller (Podolski 82′).

Goals: Müller (pen. 12′, 45+1′, 78′) (Hummels 32′).

Portugal: Patrício; Coentrão (A. Almeida 65′), Alves, Pepe, Pereira; Meireles, Veloso (Costa 46′), Moutinho; Ronaldo, H. Almeida (Éder 28′), Nani.

USA 2-1 Ghana

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It began with the magical. It ended with the miraculous.

John Brooks, a 21-year-old German-American making his competitive debut for the United States, who was on the field only because a starting fullback was hurt, powered a fierce header into the net in the 86th minute Monday to give the United States a 2-1 victory over Ghana in its first match of the World Cup.

Afterward, Brooks said that he had dreamed nearly the exact situation two nights ago, the only difference being that in his imagination, he scored in the 80th minute. He did not seem particularly bothered by reality’s six-minute delay.

“It was my first dream,” he said softly, “hopefully not my last.”

Brooks’s header was the dramatic coda to an evening that was a jackhammer of emotions. It opened with exuberance from the Americans after Clint Dempsey scored inside 30 seconds. That was followed by about 80 minutes of nervy, anxious nail-biting as two key players were lost to injury and Ghana pounded at the United States goal. Then came a few moments of disappointment after Ghana tied the game. And finally, there was Brooks, rising to meet Graham Zusi’s corner kick and covering the United States with the warm glow of an upset victory.

The Americans still have a considerable road to navigate to reach the knockout rounds with group games yet to play against Portugal (on Sunday) and Germany (on June 26). Any hope of advancement, though, was predicated on a positive result here. And the United States got one.

“The response after they scored was really good,”midfielder Michael Bradley said. “You looked around and still felt like there was more in it.”

At the final whistle, Coach Jürgen Klinsmann, who had not hesitated to liken this game to a final in terms of importance, ran onto the field, a smile wide across his face. The Ghana players, aware of how critical 3 points here were, sank to the ground in anguish.

“The feelings are just incredible,” the American defender Matt Besler said.

It was that way from the start. Just moments after the game kicked off, Dempsey, the United States captain, saw a pass come his way and let it run, stepping over the ball with his foot before tapping it forward with the inside of his right heel. It was a stylish move, dripping with confidence. The ball now in front of him, Dempsey bore in on goal.

One Ghana player ran across him. Then another. Dempsey cut to the inside and, with a quick finish, suddenly stroked the ball past the goalkeeper and in off the post. Klinsmann and the entire United States bench erupted. In their first game of the World Cup, in a group of sharks, the Americans were leading in roughly the time it takes to mix a caipirinha. Twenty-nine seconds was all that ticked off the clock, the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history.

“I saw that there was space,” Dempsey said, “and I just tried to hit it as hard as I could.”

As the ball settled into the back of the net, Dempsey took off running. Klinsmann threw his hands in the air. The American fans, who looked to make up half of the crowd of 39,760 at Arena das Dunas, danced in the aisles as the United States was suddenly in the lead.

But the Americans could not maintain their pace. In truth, most of the rest of the game was maddening for the United States as Ghana bossed the ball around the field. Frustration turned to sadness, too, when Jozy Altidore, one of Klinsmann’s top strikers, looked to sustain a serious leg injury. Altidore reached down and grabbed the back of his leg as he sprinted for a ball down the sideline in the 21st minute, a telltale sign of real pain. Klinsmann cradled Altidore’s head in his fingers just before Altidore was taken off on a stretcher, his World Cup participation now murky because of a strained hamstring.

“I was crushed,” Altidore said. “I knew right away I couldn’t continue. It was the worst feeling.”

Things did not improve for the Americans as the minutes passed. Ghana, which eliminated the United States in each of the past two World Cups, hammered on the Americans. Kyle Beckerman was floored by a brutal elbow to the head from Mohammed Rabiu (who was cautioned). Dempsey went down, blood pouring from his nose, after taking a shin to the face from John Boye (who got away undisciplined).

Dempsey played the rest of the game despite struggling to breathe through his nose, saying afterward that he was “coughing up blood a little bit.”

John Brooks (6), playing in his first World Cup game, after his header into the net lifted the U.S. over Ghana, 2-1.CreditStefano Rellandini/Reuters

Alejandro Bedoya also looked bothered by a leg injury and so, too, did Besler, one of the two starting central defenders. With Ghana controlling possession and pushing, Klinsmann did not want to risk a gimpy defense, so he pulled Besler at halftime as a precaution. Brooks was the replacement.

The American back line held off Ghana until the 82nd minute. That was when André Ayew beat Tim Howard at the near post from close range.

Deflated as the Americans may have been, they also knew that a tie would still be a good result. Yet Brooks wanted more. And when Zusi’s penetrating corner swung in, the 6-foot-4 Brooks met the ball ferociously, blasting it down and bouncing it past Adam Kwarasey in Ghana’s goal.

Brooks sprinted toward the corner flag and collapsed, as if in a daze. Then he pounded his hands into the ground.

“If you score after just one minute,” Klinsmann said, “you think there can’t be anything better than that.”

But there was. It was something from a dream.

President Obama vetos iPhone sales ban, Samsung disappointed

The administration of the US President Barack Obama has recently issued a veto on the pending sales ban of certain older Apple products (the iPad 2 or earlier and the iPhone 4 or earlier). Following a ruling of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) back in early June, the products were supposed to be banned from selling because of violation of a certain Samsung-owned standards-essential patent.

The Obama administration stepped up and disproved the ITC determination to issue an exclusion order and cease and desist order due to its effect on “competitive conditions in the U.S. economy and the effect on U.S. consumers.” This action is entirely in the competence of the President’s office although this block of the ITC ban is said to be the first of its kind since the Reagan administration in 1987.

Obama’s office reminds of “the potential harms that can result” from using standards­-essential patents for “gaining undue leverage and engaging in “patent hold­up”. It reminds that standards­-essential patents should be easily accessible for licensing under FRAND terms, which, they consider, was not the case with this Samsung’s patent.

Back in June, the ITC ruled that Apple was violating one of Samsung’s smartphone and tablet-related patents. Due to that decision, Apple was about to face bans on the sales of certain AT&T iPhone and iPad models. Apple was highly disappointed because they claimed Samsung would readily license the said patent to anyone else interested, yet it insisted on a sales ban in Apple’s case.

Companies holding standards­-essential patent such as the one in question, are obliged to license these to third parties on terms that are Fair, Reasonable, And Non­Discriminatory (hence FRAND). According to Apple, in this case Samsung was far from offering them FRAND licensing terms.

Up until now Apple was appealing the ITC’s initial ruling and the Commission was supposed to come up with a final ruling on August 9.

Fortunately, the block does not mean the patent holder is not entitled to a compensation, just on the contrary.

Samsung has already responded to the decision of the president’s office:

“We are disappointed that the U.S. Trade Representative has decided to set aside the exclusion order issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC’s decision correctly recognized that Samsung has been negotiating in good faith and that Apple remains unwilling to take a license.”

Quite expectedly, Apple’s stance on the President’s office decision is just on the contrary:

We applaud the Administration for standing up for innovation in this landmark case. Samsung was wrong to abuse the patent system in this way.

We are yet to see which direction this thing takes. It’s more than obvious that the Apple vs. Samsung patent brawls are already getting out of hand. It’s getting increasingly harder to tell who’s right and who’s wrong.

Apple iPad crowned as “Most Satisfying Tablet in 2013” and “Google Now” Comes to iOS

Apple’s iPad ranked first in the list with a score of 836 over a total possible score of 1,000 points. The study questioned tablet owners on five categories. These include performance, ease of use, styling and design, features, and cost.

Apple’s iPad scored high on the first four categories. On the other hand, Amazon’s tablets excelled in the cost category, scoring an overall score of 829 points out of 1,000. Other tablet manufacturers such as Samsung, Asus, and Acer followed close behind in the list, though their scores were all below the study average of 828 points.

The results of the study indicate that tablet owners are less likely to add or replace their units anytime soon. Last year, 37 percent of tablet owners stated they intended to purchase a new unit in the coming year. In the 2013 survey only 27 per cent declared they still intended to buy a new tablet within the year.

JD Power research

The research revealed that consumer satisfaction is higher when the tablet unit is a communal device. In the study, sole users scored 28 points lower in satisfaction compared to those who shared a tablet between four or more people. This leads to the suggestion that group satisfaction may have a significant effect on subsequent purchases and brand loyalty.

Google’s iOS Search app, now with Google Now

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Boom, just like that Google has issued an update to its excellent Search app for the iPhone and iPad which enables some of the most popular Google Now features on the iOS platform. At least initially, Google Now on iOS devices doesn’t support some of the features Android users have come to love.

Boarding passes, activity summary, events, concerts, Fandango and Zillow cards aren’t included in the update.

All told, 22 of the 29 card types found in Android have made their way to the iOS edition, including weather, traffic, transit schedules and sports scores. Also: Google Now doesn’t have Push Notifications, which makes the feature less useful than on Android, where Google Now can notify users via alerts of their upcoming appointments, changes to their flight schedule, weather and more.

Your promotional video, screenies and additional details are after the break…

The overall look and feel of Google Now on iOS is virtually indistinguishable from its Android counterpart.

However, Google Now on Android is more seamless due to its integration with Google’s mobile operating system, which includes accessing Google Now anywhere with an upward swipe, but also live-updating home and Locks screen widgets which, of course, are not supported on iOS.

Google Now Cards missing from the iOS build: airline boarding passes, activity summary, events, Zillow, Fandango, concerts, research topic, nearby events.

According to AllThingsD, we should expect upcoming new Google Now Cards on Android first, “and then see them added to iOS later.”

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To refresh your cards, just swipe up. You must be signed in to the Search app with your Google Account to use Now features.

Google’s blog post reads:

Google Now is about giving you just the right information at just the right time. It can show you the day’s weather as you get dressed in the morning, or alert you that there’s heavy traffic between you and your butterfly-inducing date-so you’d better leave now!

It can also share news updates on a story you’ve been following, remind you to leave for the airport so you can make your flight and much more. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most-and the more you use Google Now, the more you get out of it.

Here’s a promo clip.

The app icon has also been slightly tweaked.

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From release notes:

• get just the right information at just the right time with Google Now.
• weather and traffic conditions before you start your day
• updates on your favorite sports teams and breaking news stories as they happen