The United States and Portugal each took leads and lost leads before settling for a 2-2 draw in World Cup action today.
Clint Dempsey scored the second USA goal, which appeared to be the winner until Portugal scored in the final seconds of stoppage time. DeAndre Yedlin came on as a second half substitute in his World Cup debut.
The result leaves all four teams in contention to move on when group play concludes Thursday with Germany-USA and Ghana-Portugal.
Below is a game report and notes from U.S. Soccer:
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In hot, humid conditions at Arena Amazonia, the U.S. Men's National Team earned one valuable point in a 2-2 draw against No. 4 Portugal during its second match of Group G play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey each scored for the USA with Dempsey's 81st-minute tally giving the USA a 2-1, come-from-behind lead.
The U.S. was seconds away from clinching a spot in the Round of 16 as a win would have sent the U.S. through and Portugal would have been eliminated. However, Portugal's Silvestre Varela tallied the latest of equalizers in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time on virtually the last touch of the game.
The USA is now tied atop Group G with Germany at points each, but Germany holds the tiebreaker based on goal differential. The USA will face Germany in its Group G finale on Thursday, June 26, at 12 p.m. ET (ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision) and can clinch a spot in the Round of 16 in the following ways: • A victory against Germany, which would also give the USA the group title • A draw against Germany • A draw between Ghana and Portugal in the other Group G match, which will be played concurrently to USA vs. Germany • A loss combined with ending group play with superior goal differential over the winner between Ghana and Portugal For full standings and results, visit ussoccer.com's 2014 FIFA World Cup homepage.
Goal Scoring Rundown:POR - Nani (unassisted), 5th minute: Portugal capitalized on a mistake to go ahead early in the match. The sequence started on the left side from Andre Almeida to Miguel Veloso, who then crossed into the middle of the box. Central defender Geoff Cameron failed to clear the ball as it skipped off his left foot and straight to Portugal forward Nani, who found himself alone in front of the U.S. net. Nani settled and powered the ball over U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard to make it 1-0. USA 0, POR 1
USA - Jermaine Jones (unassisted), 64th minute: After the goal, the U.S. was the aggressor and the more dominant team and finally got the goal it had seemingly earned. The U.S. earned a corner kick from the right and Graham Zusi's delivery was deflected away by Portugal's defense. U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones collected outside the box toward the left, took a touch inside to his right to make space, and with Nani defending, crushed his 27-yard shot just inside the right post into the side netting as Portugal goalkeeper Beto could only watch flat-footed. USA 1, POR 1
USA - Clint Dempsey (Graham Zusi), 81st minute: Michael Bradley passed to second-half sub DeAndre Yedlin on the right, and the young defender - who played in the midfield after coming on for Alejandro Bedoya in the 72nd minute - took the ball to the end line and crossed on the ground into the middle. The ball was deflected and Bradley got a shot attempt, which was blocked. The ball ricocheted to Graham Zusi on the left, and he calmly clipped a short left-footed cross over Portugal's Joao Pereira to Clint Dempsey, who guided the ball into the net from the doorstep with his mid-section for the go-ahead goal. USA 2, POR 1
POR - Silvestre Varela (Cristiano Ronaldo), 90+5th minute: With the USA clinging onto the lead and just seconds left in the five minutes of allotted stoppage time, Cristiano Ronaldo crossed from the right side on a counter attack. The connection to Silvestre Varela was pin-point as Varela dove to powerfully head the ball from the edge of the six-yard box into the right side of the net for the dramatic equalizer. USA 2, POR 2
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:POR - Beto, 17th minute: The USA's best scoring chance in the first half from the run of play came from Michael Bradley's pass from the midfield to Clint Dempsey who was sprinting into the right side of the box. The well-timed run led to Dempsey getting a look at the goal from a stiff angle in the right side of the box, but his shot toward the near post was knocked away by Portugal goalkeeper Beto.
POR - Beto, 27th minute: Clint Dempsey once again challenged the Portugal defense when he was set up Graham Zusi on the right. Dempsey had a tight window as he fended off a defender, and then shot right-footed toward the near right post, where Beto cleaned up with the foot save.
USA - Tim Howard, 42nd minute: Portugal's counter attack went through Cristiano Ronaldo on the left side, where he crossed to a wide-open Nani on the right. Nani shot from outside the box, trying to find the left side of the frame, but Howard dove for the save, eventually leading to a free kick that Ronaldo fired over the goal.
USA - Tim Howard, 45th minute: Nani's strike from outside the box snuck pass diving U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who tried to bat the ball away. Instead, it clipped off his glove and hit the right post flush for a rebound. First-half sub Eder had a chance to strike the bouncing ball at goal, but the off-balance Howard managed to stick up his left hand to spectacularly lift the ball over the goal or it would have been 2-0.
POR - Ricardo Costa, 55th minute: The USA's most clear-cut scoring opportunity to this point pulled a last-ditch block from Portugal's defense. Graham Zusi led Fabian Johnson on the right side. Johnson brought the ball to the end line and drew goalkeeper Beto toward him before crossing to Michael Bradley in the middle of the box. With Beto on the ground, Bradley shot at the goal from almost point blank range and somehow sprawling Portugal defender Ricardo Costa cleared the ball off the line with his left knee.
Milestone Watch: • Clint Dempsey scored his second goal in this year's FIFA World Cup and his fourth in tournament history. His four goals tie Bert Patenaude for second on the all-time USA list, and is one goal behind Landon Donovan's five tallies. • Dempsey moved past Eric Wynalda in all-time appearances with his 107th game on Sunday and sits in ninth place on the list. Wynalda had 106 caps from 1990-2000. • Dempsey earned his eighth FIFA World Cup cap, which moves him into a tie for ninth place on the U.S. MNT list alongside Marcelo Balboa and Wynalda. • With his 102nd international appearance, Tim Howard ties the U.S. MNT goalkeeping record set by Kasey Keller (102 caps from 1990-2007). Howard and Keller are tied for 11th on the all-time caps list overall. • DaMarcus Beasley, the only USA player to appear in four FIFA World Cups, played in his ninth World Cup game, which ties him for sixth on the U.S. MNT's all-time list with Eddie Pope and Tab Ramos. Beasley also played in the 118th match of his career as he sits in fifth place on the all-time list, nine caps behind fourth-place Balboa (127). • Midfielder Michael Bradley moved past Steve Cherundolo on the all-time caps list with his 88th appearance. Bradley is 19th, two caps shy of 18th-place John Harkes (90 from 1987-2000).
Next on the Schedule:The U.S. MNT faces Germany in the third and final game of Group G play at the 2014 FIFA World Cup at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 26, at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision and ESPN RadioSocial: Twitter (@ussoccer); Facebook; Instagram
Additional Notes: • The USA is now 8-17-6 all-time in the FIFA World Cup while Portugal moves to 12-9-4 all-time. • The USA is 2-2-2 all-time against Portugal. • The 13th-ranked USA faced a top-10 FIFA-ranked opponent for the 58th time in its history. The USA is now 16-33-9 all-time against top-10 teams in FIFA's ranking system and 9-22-3 against top-5 teams. • The U.S. MNT moves to 5-1-2 in 2014. • The USA is now 2-4-1 all-time in games played in Brazil. • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's starting lineup featured Tim Howard in goal and the same back line from the Ghana match: left back DaMarcus Beasley, right back Fabian Johnson and center backs Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler. • The USA's midfield-heavy 4-5-1 formation included holding midfielders Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman, along with Graham Zusi on the left, Alejandro Bedoya on the right and Michael Bradley in the center. • Clint Dempsey played up front and wore the captain's armband. • The USA is 9-3-3 in games with Dempsey as the team captain. • DeAndre Yedlin made his FIFA World Cup debut when he replaced Bedoya in the 72nd minute. Yedlin played in the midfield after mostly playing at right back both professionally and internationally. • Chris Wondolowski replaced Dempsey in the 87th minute to earn his first cap in a FIFA World Cup. • In the first minute of second-half stoppage time, Klinsmann utilized his final substitution when he brought in Omar Gonzalez for Zusi. • The USA is now 32-11-9 all-time under Klinsmann. • The U.S. is 0-14-2 when trailing at halftime in FIFA World Cup play. • When the USA faces No. 2 Germany on June 26, it will mark the sixth occasion in which the U.S. MNT will play top-5 FIFA-ranked teams in back-to-back games. • The USA played without forward Jozy Altidore (hamstring). Portugal was without defender Pepe (suspended), forward Hugo Almeida (thigh), midfielder Fabio Coentrao (groin) and goalkeeper Rui Patricio (thigh).
Group G Disciplinary Notes: • Germany: No infractions through two Group G games • Ghana: Mohammed Rabiu (caution on June 16; another caution during group stage through quarterfinals would result in one-game suspension); Sulley Muntari (served his one-game suspension on June 22 against the USA; will be available for selection on June 26 against Portugal) • Portugal: Pepe (served his one-game suspension on June 22 against the USA; should be available for selection on June 26 against Ghana); Joao Pereira (caution on June 16; another caution during group stage through quarterfinals would result in one-game suspension) • USA: Jermaine Jones (caution on June 22; another caution during group stage through quarterfinals would result in one-game suspension) • For players who have only one caution through the conclusion of the quarterfinal stage, that yellow card clears from his record heading into the semifinals.