Most newspapers flooded their front pages with pictures from the many joyous public gatherings that turned massive scenes of disappointment. None did it better than the Las Vegas Review-Journal (see above). The juxtaposition between the fan looking left while the glasses fan looks right in utter agony is absolutely brilliant.
The Oakland Tribune was one of the few to avoid crowd shots. Instead they lead with a powerful AP photo of Belgium’s Axel Witsel standing triumphant as various members of the USMNT lay prone in various stages of despondence on the pitch.
To most fans, Julian Green is yet another member of Jurgen Klinsmann’s German imports. But to Gulf Coasters he’s as much one of their own as Clearwater Beach, cigars, grouper sandwiches, and Ybor City. Which explains the Tampa Tribune’s clever “Belgium won, Tampa 1” front page.
The Anchorage Daily News features a beautifully lit and beautifully-attired USMNT fan. They also pulled off the seemingly-impossible feat of finding Belgian supporters in Alaska.
In a nice bit of symbolism, the Chicago Tribune shows the agony of supporters who watched from one of the most hallowed American football fans in the country – Soldier Field.
The Arizona Republic continues the annoying mainstream trend on making every USMNT match a referendum on soccer’s very existence in this country.
New York’s tabloids never fail to entertain. The Post gives us the corny yet amusing “Agony of De-Feet” headline, while the Daily News delivers a gut punch as powerful as the game itself with its forlorn fan embodying the words “End of the World.”
The Belgians live on to make their deepest run since Mexico ’86 when they finished fourth. For Americans, there is no safe place to look on Het Nieuwsblad’s front page. A collage of 11 painful images comprises this nightmare that reads “A maniacal thriller.” Look into Lukaku’s eyes if you dare.
De Morgen’s front page can be read two ways. For Americans, to come so close but fail at the death was indeed a “Schitterend!” while for Belgians it was boisterously “Brilliant!”
Belgium was clearly the better side in the match, so it must have been frustrating to unleash a record-breaking barrage on goal and yet barely escape. Le Soir perfectly captures how its fans must have felt with its “Belgian Happiness” headline contrasted with Lukaku looking more relieved than ecstatic.