MIDTOWN — As World Cup fever sweeps the nation, New Yorkers are trying to figure out how to skip work to watch Thursday's noon showdown with Germany.
A tie with the European powerhouse — ranked No. 2 by FIFA — will be enough to secure America's graduation out of the so-called "Group of Death" and into the tournament's last 16.
And, after edge-of-the-seat contests against Ghana and Portugal, fans have no intention of letting a little thing like work get in the way of cheering on the team.
"Unfortunately, I was really ill in the morning," Johnny Godson, a Midtown resident who works in finance, plans to tell his boss. "I rallied, but was not well enough to go to work."
Another fan who expects to feel under the weather said a sudden plague of migraines is about to sweep the city Thursday morning.
"I've used that a couple of times, that works," said Pat, 24. He wouldn't give his last name — to stop his boss from giving him a red card.
It could be the perfect invented illness — with invisible symptoms and almost impossible to disprove.
That is unless you're spotted cheering on the team at spots such as Under The Archway in DUMBO, where TV cameras could catch you.
For those fans who can't skip work, many are trying to invent ways to make watching soccer part of it.
"I have many European clients," said Pete Echanique of Brooklyn. It's essential that he's soccer-savvy so he can keep up with the World Cup-crazed continent — or so he tells his boss.
Kevin Jones, 29, from East New York, works for bike-rental company, holding a sign on the street.
"I'm gonna keep walking up and down Seventh Avenue by all the bars to take a peek every five minutes," he said. "I got to. It's U.S.A. all the way."
At the United Nations, the tournament's so important that special arrangements have been made to broadcast games.
A spokesman said two screens had been set up in the delegates' lounge in the Turtle Bay headquarters. An employee said the IT department had told people to watch the games on a special intranet so as not to take up all the international governing body’s bandwidth.
For those with less understanding employers, streaming phones will be perched on desks.
“Because I have ESPN, I can watch it on my phone,” said Artie Barnes, 56, a security guard who lives in Chinatown.
Others will be taking time out of their vacation allowance.
And, for those to whom job security pales when compared to national pride, there's a more extreme option — throw caution to the wind and leave.
Angelo Cardoni, 49, the foreman of a construction site who's from the Bronx, works with colleagues from many different nations. When they have needed to see games, nothing stands in their way.
"We just left," he said.
With Trevor Kapp