The U.S. national team lost 2-1 to Belgium and has been eliminated from the World Cup. But the U.S. side wouldn’t have even kept the match close if not for the heroics of goalkeeper Tim Howard and his World Cup-record 16 saves.
Right from the start, Belgium created scoring opportunities, including this point-blank shot in the first minute.
In what what would be a recurring theme, Howard had some animated words for his defence.
His next shot in the 29th minute was one of the easier of the night to handle.
At the end of the first half, Howard had to go to the ground again on a long shot.
In the 48th minute, Howard had to leap on a header that might have snuck in behind the American keeper.
Howard did get a bit lucky in the 57th minute when this header hit the crossbar and went over.
Howard made a big save with his legs in the 57th minute. There would be more like this to come.
In the 71st minute, Howard made another big save with his legs and little help from the defence.
Just five minutes later, Howard made another one-on-one save with his foot, deflecting the shot wide.
In the 79th minute, the barrage continued when Eden Hazard wound up for a shot that was heading for the corner if not for Howard’s save.
The shots seemed to be coming from every direction in the second half and Howard was nearly invincible.
Four minutes later he faced a nearly identical shot and once again turned it away.
Amazingly, Belgium wasn’t done, consistently breaking through the defence and getting open shots.
Even when it was 1-on-3, Belgium was able to break through, and with the U.S. having cut the lead to 2-1, Howard came through again.