Despite Loss, U.S. Advances In World Cup

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RECIFE, Brazil  – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell 1-0 to Germany to conclude Group G play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup but combined with a 2-1 Portugal victory against Ghana in the other group match, it was enough to send the Americans to the Round of 16 for the second consecutive World Cup.

The USA will now face the winner of Group H – likely Belgium or Algeria – on July 1 at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and Univision Deportes. The USA finished the group tied for second place on points with Portugal at four each, but the U.S. goes through to the knockout round and Portugal is eliminated based on a superior goal differential. The U.S. finished Group G play with four goals scored and four allowed while Portugal scored four, but allowed seven.

The lone goal of the game came in the 55th minute from German forward Thomas Muller and soon after at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Asamoah Gyan scored for Ghana to equalize at 1-1 against

Portugal in a match that was being played concurrently.

Thus started a span of 23 nerve-wracking minutes in which another Ghana goal would have put the United States out of the tournament on goal differential and put Ghana through in second place. Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo gave the USA some breathing room with a goal in the 80th minute to put his country ahead 2-1.

The match was played steady rain on a soggy field which stood up well despite rain that had been falling for hours before the match, causing serious flooding in Recife.

The USA had two chances to equalize in stoppage time of the second half (and a tie would have also put the USA in the Round of 16 regardless of the Portugal-Ghana result), but Germany defender Phillip Lahm’s sliding block of Alejandro Bedoya’s shot deep in the penalty box kept the U.S. off the board. Shortly after that, Clint Dempsey put a short-range header just over the bar. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard played a clean match making several safe grabs on low crosses.

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