USA Gives Up Late Goal, Draws with Portugal 2-2
After what was an incredible comeback from the United States, as a goal in the 81st minute by American captain Clint Dempsey put them up 2-1, Portugal was able to equalize the match and end it in a draw during stoppage time, 2-2.
The match started as bad as possible for the United States, when Portugal winger Nani was able to rebound a poor clearance from American defender Geoff Cameron into the back of the net in the 5th minute.
Throughout the rest of the first half, the USA was able to put together some great attacking play and was able to set the tone of the match in their favor. American midfielder Michael Bradley was denied an open net goal as a Portuguese defender was able to throw his body in front of the oncoming shot, and kept the match at 1-0 at halftime in favor of Portugal.
Even after the halftime adjustments, the Americans still seemed in control, and during the 61st minute, midfielder Jermaine Jones fired a rocket into the back of the net from 25 yards out and evened up the scoreboard at 1-1.
With the swing in momentum, Portugal needed to keep a level head and were able to give the Americans a few scares, as they tested goalkeeper Tim Howard with quite a few legitimate attempts on goal.
However, in the 81st minute, an American attack was capped off with a difficult finish from Clint Dempsey, to put the USA up 2-1. 300 million people on this continent then lost their collective minds.
The ecstasy didn't last.
In stoppage time, as the USA was playing as defensive as possible to prevent Portugal from scoring again, Cristiano Ronaldo, reigning FIFA Player of the Year, finally showed up.
Throughout the entire match, Ronaldo was just slightly off his normal, exceptional form, but with 15 seconds left, he proved why he is the best player on the planet. He made a great run up the right side of the field with the ball and provided a perfect cross into the box, finding the head of Silvestre Varelo, which, in turn, found the back of the net.
With the result, Germany still lead Group G with 4 points. The USA also has 4 points, but lose the goal differential tiebreaker with the Germans. Both Portugal and Ghana have 1 point.
The United States plays Germany on Thursday at 11 AM.
With a draw in either upcoming match in Group G, or an American victory over Germany, the USA will advance to the knockout round. Who they will play has yet to be determined should the United States advance, but will go up against either the first or second place team from Group H (Belgium, Algeria, South Korea, or Russia).