us soccer

The U.S. defense relaxed about 30 seconds too early. Yes, with about 30 seconds left in a match that the U.S. was in firm control of, a beautiful Cristiano Ronaldo cross set up a Varela header that tied the game at two goals apiece on what ended up being the last action of the match.

A win would have pushed the Americans through without having to do anything against the powerful Germans, who saw a similar 2-2 draw against Ghana in their last match. The goal also kept Portugal alive, while it is still a long shot that they will advance; they are not mathematically out of it yet.

The Americans gave up an early goal off a mishit in their own box, but took it to the Portuguese for the next 90 minutes. The final score is not indicative of the play of the field. The Americans solved a lot of the problems they had in the first match and looked like a team poised to make some noise if they can take care of business in their final match.

The scenario is simple for the Americans to make it through to the next round. If they win they win the group and advance to the knockout round of 16. If they draw with the Germans; both the U.S. and Germany advance to the next round. U.S. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has already dismissed any talk of collusion with his fellow countrymen. Now if the U.S. went down against Germany they may be scoreboard watching. If Ghana and Portugal tie the U.S. would advance, any other result it would come down to tie-breakers.

The U.S. would be rooting first for a tie between Ghana and Portugal but they would also take a Portuguese win as long as it is not a blowout. Germany manhandled the Portuguese and left them with a huge goal differential to make up. Therefore a one or two goal victory by the Portuguese would more than likely send the Americans to the next round granted the Americans do not take a beating themselves.

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