The U.S. National Team battled Portugal for 94-and-a-half-minutes in Manaus. Too bad Sunday’s World Cup game went 95. The result? A 2-2 tie, and a do-or-die (or draw) showdown with Germany on Thursday.
Here’s what you need to know about the game everyone’s talking about, and what happened afterward: The Flagrant 2 for Monday.
The U.S.A. Lets One Slip Away
The United States had Group G in the rearview mirror. Cristiano Ronaldo had other ideas.
Portugal’s superstar set up an equalizing goal in the dying seconds of stoppage time on Sunday, denying the U.S. a hard-fought victory and, more importantly, the advancement out of the so-called “Group of Death” that would have come along with it.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw, a result that kept both teams alive in the Group, but one that the Americans –who fell behind 1-0 on a bad turnover in the 5th minute, knotted it on a screamer by Jermaine Jones in the 64th, then took the lead in the 81st when Clint Dempsey used his midsection (and thankfully not his nose) to re-direct a cross from Graham Zusi into the net – certainly weren’t happy about.
“Football’s cruel sometimes,” U.S. keeper Tim Howard said immediately afterward.
And he wasn’t kidding. The U.S. spent much of the first half battling back after a botched clear attempt by defender Geoff Cameron gave Portugal forward Nani the ball at close range. He drove it past Howard, and the Portuguese used that momentum to dominate much of the first 45. But the Americans surged back in the second, refusing to wilt in the heat of the Amazonian city of Manaus (we got our first cooling break of the World Cup!)
Michael Bradley had a near-goal cleared off the line by Portugal defender Ricardo Costa in the 55th minute, then, after a corner bounced out of the box, Jones scorched one past keeper Beto with his right foot to level it at one. The U.S. kept the pressure on from there, and when Dempsey thumped Zusi’s crossing pass into the net with his stomach, they had their first lead, and the Round of 16 seemed a definite possibility.
But five extra minutes of stoppage time proved costly. Still, the U.S. must take their point and move on.
They now have 4 points in the Group, the same as Germany, and the two nations meet Thursday at noon ET in Recife. Meanwhile Portugal and Ghana (who both have 1 point) play at the same time in Brasilia. The scenarios of who advances to the second round can be complex – goal difference might be the deciding factor – but all you really need to know is this: With a win or draw against the Germans, the U.S. moves on, and they can put this last-second miss in Manaus behind them for good.
Ties = Communism
In the U-S-of-goddamn-A, there are only winners and losers. And melted cheese. Since the U.S.’s draw with Portugal was none of those things, you can probably figure out how Americans reacted to the result. Perspective? Fuck that. Let’s bomb Portugal, bro.
You can’t tie in baseball, I’ll leave it at that….
— Baseball Wisdom (@_baseballwisdom) June 23, 2014
Can’t stand when things end in a tie… I need a winner and a loser.
— Team Athlete (@Team_Athlete) June 23, 2014
— Joey Styles (@JoeyStyles) June 23, 2014
Yet another reason soccer sucks #ties
— Brett Griffin (@SpotterBrett) June 23, 2014
90 minutes (really 5 minutes of action) tie score, no effect on standing, a life time worth of controversy AFTER actual time, soccer sucks!
— JohnAtlanta (@JohnAtlanta) June 23, 2014