Sport World Cup

Friday 22 August 2014

US President Barack Obama tries but fails to inspire the USA to victory over Belgium

James Orr

Published 02/07/2014 | 09:33

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US President Barack Obama watching the game last night

Just eight minutes before the start of one of the biggest matches in the history of United States soccer, the team received a message of support from their biggest fan, who also happens to be the Leader of the Free World, President Barack Obama.

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From watching USA v Germany on Air Force One, to starting a speech in Memphis recently by congratulating the team for reaching the second round, World Cup fever truly has truly gripped the President.

Obama even said earlier this week that he believed USA could go all the way and "defy the odds" to win the tournament in Brazil.

Of course, this is not Obama's first foray into the realms of football, here he is having a kickabout with a robot in Japan.

The furthest the US have ever got in a World Cup is the quarter-final in 2002, a feat they were unable to match after their defeat to Belgium.

As if that wasn't enough, Obama later turned cheerleader to lead the latest 'soccer' chant to grip the US, as he started a chorus of "I believe that we will win" in the White House at the World Cup viewing party.

Unfortunately for the President, his belief proved in vain as a thrilling second round encounter saw Belgium run out eventual 2-1 winners. Having conceded goals in extra-time to Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, Julian Green's close-range volley gave the US - and many of the neutrals watching on the edge of their seat - hope that a comeback for Team USA was on.

And they had chances too, with Clint Dempsey seeing a shot from a brilliantly worked free-kick saved by Thibault Courtois in the dying minutes, but in the end it was the so-called World Cup 'dark horses' who maintained their 100 per cent record in the tournament to reach the quarter-finals.

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