Seconds away from completing one of the best performances in American soccer history and qualifying for the knockout round of the 2014 World Cup, the U.S. allowed a game-tying goal to Portugal to end the match at 2-2.
The U.S. led 2-1 in the last minute of stoppage time when Cristiano Ronaldo swung in a perfect cross and Varela headed it in. The final whistle blew moments later.
A win would have sent the U.S. through to the round of 16, and given them a decent chance to finish first in the group. Instead, the U.S. could be going home with a loss to Germany on Thursday.
The game started horribly for the USMNT. Central defender Geoff Cameron botched a clearance in the 5th minute, leading to a Nani goal to make it 1-0 to Portugal.
But after that the U.S. thoroughly outplayed Portugal, creating decent chances down the right flank.
A Jermaine Jones goal in the 64th minute tied it at 1-1. A Clint Dempsey goal 15 minutes later seemed to send the U.S. into the knockout round.
Then came the Portugal suckerpunch.
The U.S. advances to the knockout stage with a win or draw against Germany. If the U.S. loses, they’d need help. A tie in the Portugal-Ghana game sends them through. With Portugal’s -4 goal different, a Portugal win over Ghana would likely also send the U.S. through.
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