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Late Goal Keeps United States Soccer from Advancing

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The United States mustered a tie versus Portugal at the 2014 World Cup. (Thinkstock)

The last kick of the night prevented the United States from advancing to the Knockout Phase of the 2014 World Cup, as Ronaldo’s pass to Silvestre Varela found the back of the net to salvage a 2-2 tie for Portugal at Arena Amazonia in Manaus.

Both teams earned 1 point in Group G standings. With the draw, Portugal remains alive in Group G play. The United States now needs a tie or a win against Germany in the third and final game of group play in order to advance to the Knockout Phase.

Playing in the high humidity of Manaus – a city of about two million people in the middle of Brazil’s Amazon region – the United States overcame a one goal deficit and was within seconds of advancing in the tournament before a Ronaldo pass saved the night for the Portuguese.

The United States now has four points in group play, tied with Germany for first place and ahead of Ghana (1 point) and Portugal (1 point).

Has the United States held on for the victory, it would have been the first time the United States won a World Cup match after conceding the match’s first goal.

Clint Dempsey, playing with a broken nose, gave the United States a 2-1 lead in the 81st minute, only 17 minutes after Jermaine Jones earned the equalizer with a perfect bend past the Portuguese defense in the 64th minute.

Portugal scratched first when Nani found the back of the net in the fifth minute. The Portuguese had a pair of chances to go into halftime with consecutive shots fired against Tim Howard in the 45th minute. However, Howard managed to keep the ball out of goal and the United States went into halftime trailing 1-0.

The United States still has to play Germany in its final Group G game. A tie or win in that match would ensure the United States finishes in first place in “Group of Death” action.

Germany can also advance to the Knockout Phase with a draw against the United States.

If the United States loses to Germany, the Americans can still advance if Portugal and Ghana play to a tie.

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