NORWALK, Conn. -- Even though the U.S. did not win its World Cup match against Germany on Thursday, the crowd at O'Neill's in South Norwalk still erupted in cheers at news that Team U.S.A. would be advancing to the next round.
The Irish pub in South Norwalk was packed for the game, which the U.S. lost 1-0. But because Portugal beat Ghana, 2-1, in the game played at the same time as the U.S.-Germany game, the U.S. still advances to the 16-team knockout round.
The U.S. will next play Belgium, unless Belgium loses to South Korea and Russia loses to Algeria. Optimism at the prospect of U.S. playing Belgium was high at O'Neill's.
"If we play liked we did today against Belgium, I think we still have a chance," said Nick Guarcello.
"I'm very happy that the U.S. advanced," said Job Fernandez, a soccer coach in Norwalk. "However, our offense needs to improve in the knockout rounds if we want to advance."
The crowd was spirited during the game, routinely breaking into chants of "U-S-A!" and "I believe that we will win!" whenever the United States made a good play. Spectators believed that the U.S. still had a chance of defeating Germany at half-time.
"We're playing against one of the best teams in the world, and we're doing okay," said Matt Erickson.
And even though the U.S. ultimately couldn't top Germany, patrons still believe that they have a shot in the next round.
"It's disappointing that we didn't win, but it's good that at least we advance," said David Grant. "I think we have a strong core, especially [Jermaine] Jones up front is very dangerous. We'll see what happens."
O'Neill's will be hosting viewings of most games in the World Cup. Next week the pub will be playing games on a 30-feet screen in its outdoor patio.