Despite being denied a spot in the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals by Belgium, the USA men’s national football team would beat even host nation Brazil in a battle of the hashflags, with thanks to Tim Howard’s phenomenal goalkeeping.
Twitter’s data team has been busy analysing tweets sent throughout the World Cup international football tournament so far, with particular attention paid to the use of hashflags. That is, a hashtag identifying a country by its official three-letter abbreviation, thus generating the relevant flag in a tweet.
In this World Cup of Tweets played out from the round of 16, the Netherlands wouldn’t be in the quarter-finals at all thanks to #MEX tweets and team USA would have beaten Belgium by a landslide, going on to face Argentina in a more closely contested match-up.
For the semi-finals, we’d see USA take on Mexico and Brazil up against Germany, culminating in a USA vs Brazil final, with victory going to the States.
It’s a nice thought ahead of the US national holiday on 4 July, but, for now, the dream of World Cup glory is over for Jürgen Klinsmann’s squad and a nation will have to console itself with barbecues and fireworks.
Things Tim Howard could save
Last night’s USA-Belgium game was the fourth-most tweeted-about game in the tournament so far, netting 9.1m tweets during the match – 1.8m of which mentioned goalkeeper Tim Howard, who put in a stellar performance making the most saves seen in a World Cup game since 1966.
#ThingsTimHowardCouldSave is now trending on the microblogging site, a list which includes The Lion King’s Mufasa, the Titanic and the dinosaurs.
For a brief period, Howard’s fervent fans turned their attention to Wikipedia edits, temporarily naming him the US Secretary of Defense.
Mentions of Howard peaked at 63,862 tweets per minute and a total of more than 1.8m tweets sent last night, but it’s a far cry from the tournament’s most tweeted-about player, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who has seen almost 11m mentions on Twitter since the tournament began.
Top of the charts in terms of most tweeted-about matches are the Netherlands’ round of 16 battle against Mexico (9.2m tweets), Brazil’s opening match against Croatia (12.2m tweets) and Brazil again in its round of 16 challenge against Chile, which culminated in a victory won by penalties and a total of 16.4m tweets.