2014 World Cup – USA 2, Portugal 2

Oh mannn..USA played good, really good this game. We didn’t deserve a win last game, but this game we at least deserved a tie, and probably even a win. We had great scoring opportunities and kept better possession. I could point to a few things that would have provided a different result. There was a fatal mistake by Geoff Cameron in the 5th minute of the game where he shanked a clearance which ended up right in front of Nani, who finished off the easy goal. Bradley had a shot where he had space, only 6 yards in front of the goal, and no goalkeeper to beat, but still shot it right at a defender on the goal line.

But the one that gets me the most is the last goal USA gave up. It definitely felt like the last 5 -10 minutes of the game momentum totally shifted away from USA and towards Portugal. There’s the saying that the best defense is a good offense. Well, Wondolowski, Bradley, and Yedlin had some runs at the very end of the game, but we didn’t have anybody forward so it was a lost cause. The rest of the team was so focused on staying back it was next to impossible for us to score in those last 10 minutes. I would have liked to have seen us have a more attacking mindset during the last part of the game and at least give ourselves a chance to get that 3rd goal, which would have completely devastated Portugal. But instead, it was Portugal laying the pressure on us at the end, and the end result – them coming back and getting a goal in the 85th minute, a cross from Ronaldo to Varela. We were definitely milking the clock at the end, which is to be expected, but I appreciate it more when I see a winning team fighting and playing rather than pretending to be hurt or walking off as a sub to buy time.

The rest of the game though, passes were more sharp, we looked more fit, Dempsey making more runs, and Bradley better passes. The goal by Jermaine Jones was sick, and the stomach-bump in by Dempsey was well deserved. Zusi was a good replacement for Altidore, and Klinsmann also seemed to make the right move by bringing Yedlin on at the end for some raw speed. After the first 5 minutes, a draw felt welcome for a U.S. fan. But when Dempsey scored in the 81st minute, a draw made you sick to your stomach.

Christiano Ronaldo was a no factor – other than the cross at the very end. He was not involved in the game, and the few free kicks or shots he did have were way off target.

Match Stats:

USA Team Portugal
2 Goals 2
15 (10) Shots (on Target) 20 (9)
47% Possession 53%

Group H Table:

Team

Pts

GD

P

W

D

L

F

A

Germany 4 4 2 1 1 0 6 2
USA 4 1 2 1 1 0 4 3
Ghana 1 -1 2 0 1 1 3 4
Portugal 1 -4 2 0 1 1 2 6

Scenario for U.S.: If U.S. draws with Germany they both advance. If U.S. loses but Ghana and Portugal draw, U.S. advances. If U.S. loses, and the other game results in a decision, U.S. will advance if their goal differential (goals scored – goals conceded) is greater than the winner of the other match. For example, if U.S. loses 1-0, and Ghana wins 2-0, Ghana will advance with a GD of +1 to USA’s 0.

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