It seemed as if the entire world stopped to watch the World Cup match against Belgium.
Twitter released a map shortly after the game that pretty much backs up that notion, with geotagged tweets mentioning key World Cup terms surging and falling as they were sent during the match. As the match approached extra time with both teams scoreless and one on the verge of elimination, all hell broke loose.
Top tweets sent during the game — containing one of the hashtags used to discuss it, such as #USA and #BEL — came from celebrities, soccer players and politicians. The top tweet, however, came from the Belgian team itself, when captain Vincent Kompany tweeted his respect to U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard. Howard, 35, made the most saves in a World Cup match since 1960, by blocking 16 of the Belgian team's shots.
Top tweets sent during the match came from SportCenter, US Soccer, FIFA, a joke account and Rihanna.
Tim Howard was, despite ultimately losing, the star of the game. He was mentioned nearly two million times during the match.
The match’s peak moments, Twitter’s data team estimates, came when Romelu Lukaku scored Belgium’s first goal (178,608 tweets per minute), USA’s Julian Green’s goal (187,413 tweets per minute) and the moment Belgium defeated the U.S. (216,659 tweets per minute).
In total, Twitter estimates there were 9.1 million tweets sent about the match, likely an underestimate as that number doesn't include the standard reaction to each of Tim Howard's saves — "HOLY SH*T," "OMG" or "WHOA."
Tags: SOCIAL MEDIA, SPORTS, Twitter, World Cup