WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- Hard hat workers, teachers, school kids and thousands of Westchester soccer fans were glued to televisions at home and at sports bars and restaurants to watch Thursday's crucial World Cup match between the United States and Germany.
Needing a win, draw or even a loss with favorable point differential, the United States advanced despite a 1-0 loss to Germany. The Americans had four points as did Portugal -- a 2-1 winner over Ghana -- but moved ahead on a tiebreaker with a better point differential.
The 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time kickoff time fit perfectly into the workday with many ducking into eateries and bars where the big game was on televisions.
Bridget Clarke expected a soccer lunch crowd at her family's Clarke's Bar & Restaurant on the Hastings-Yonkers border and got just that.
"We're all USA fans today," Clarke said. "We always have good lunch crowds and with the soccer game, the fans are watching."
At Nick's Deli in Yonkers, lunch seekers grabbed sandwiches and salads and sat at tables to watch the game on television.
"It's a big game for the U.S.," Vinny Galle said as he sat and watched at Nick's. "Soccer was big in New York back when Pele (New York Cosmos) was playing. I think Americans are following it closely now with the World Cup."
Greenburgh's Anterrio Hall and Teshim Hall, no relation, took their lunch break and watched the game.
"We work next door (Creative Cabinets) and came in to watch," Anterrio Hall said. "We played soccer growing up and we know a little about the game, but the World Cup has everyone watching."
Fans suffered a bit of a letdown when Germany went ahead 1-0 early in the second half.
"We have to get a tie or we'll be in trouble," Ron Williams of New Rochelle said as he passed through Nick's Deli. "That would be tough."
Teshim Hall, who played football at Woodlands high School in 2012, said he expects more people to watch when and if the U.S. advanced.
"People who don't usually watch are into it," Hall said. "If the U.S. goes far, kids will be more interested in soccer."
Th U.S. will play Belgium next in the Round of 16.
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