WESTPORT, Conn. – As the World Cup soccer game between the United States and Germany began, Westport residents quietly drifted into the McManus Room at the Westport Library to watch on the big screen at lunchtime Thursday.
But it ended with a bang for fans. Despite losing 1-0 to Germany, Team USA advanced into the next round of the tournament due to Portugal's 2-1 win over Ghana.
"There is no fault in our stars or stripes," said a sign in the crowd.
Tension rose after Germany scored early in the second half, and groans erupted every time the United States missed a shot.
Watching this year’s World Cup at the Westport Library is a different experience for Weston resident Margot Witter, who had been watching the games in Belgium until recently.
“They started slow,” Witter said of the American team at half time. “It was a really good game.”
She, like most viewers at the Westport Library, believed that the game would end in a draw. By the end of the game, the USA supporters were both sad and thrilled. Even though the home team lost 0-1 to Germany, it still moved on to the Final 16 of the tournament.
For Westport native Fred Cantor, the Americans played a strong game. “I’m satisfied with the way they’re playing.”
Another Westport resident came to the library Thursday afternoon to watch the game, but he came with his computer and work he had to do.
“They’ve been really flexible with my summer schedule,” said J.B. Breig. Because of a change in his schedule, he added that he was able to take the data entry he needed to do and watch the game.
“I’m nervous,” Brieg said at half time, when the score was 0-0. But he added that he was confident that the game would end in a tie.
The United States isn’t 13-year-old Robbert Van Batenburg’s top team, but he says that he’ll cheer for them when they play.
“Today I’m rooting for the USA, but I’m more of a Dutch fan,” Van Batenburg said. “They’re a better team.”
He and his mother rushed to the library Thursday to watch the game after he got out of his morning summer camp. And even though he roots for the Netherlands, he says he thought the game would end in a tie.
Despite all the wishes at half time, the game ended in a 1-0 win to Germany, but with the 2-1 win for Portugal against Ghana the American team still advanced into the Final 16 of the tournament.
In the 2010 tournament in South Africa the United States was eliminated by Ghana in the final 16, finishing 12th in the tournament.