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USA Play To 2-2 Draw Against Portugal

The U.S. Men's National Team played to a 2-2 draw against Portugal in its second match of Group G at 2014 FIFA World Cup at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.

The crowd of 40,123 saw Portugal capitalized on a U.S. mistake to go ahead early in the match when the sequence started on the left side from Andre Almeida to Miguel Veloso, who then crossed into the middle of the box. 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 goalkeeper Tim Howard to make it 1-0 in fifth minute.

The Stars & Stripes leveled the match at the 64th minute of the second half when a corner kick from the right and midfielder Graham Zusi's delivery was deflected away by Portugal's defense. 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.

The USA took the lead in the 81st minute when midfielder 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 Zusi on the left, and he calmly clipped a short left-footed cross over Portugal's Joao Pereira to forward Clint Dempsey, who guided the ball into the net from the doorstep with his mid-section.

With the USA clinging onto the lead and just seconds left in the five minutes of allotted stoppage time, forward Cristiano Ronaldo crossed from the right side on a counter attack. The connection to second half sub-Silvestre Varela was pin-point as he 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.

The USA is now tied atop Group G with Germany at points (four) 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 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

 

FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 - Group G

06.22: Manaus, BRAZIL; Arena Amazonia (A: 40123)

USA – PORTUGAL 2-2 (0-1)

Jermaine JONES 64’; Clint DEMPSEY 81’ – NANO 5’; Silvestre VARELA 90’+

USA: Tim Howard - Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones, Alejandro Bedoya (72: DeAndre Yedlin), Michael Bradley, Graham Zusi (90: Omar Gonzalez), Clint Dempsey (87: Chris Wondolowski).  Booked: Jones 75’

TD: Jurgen KLINSMANN

POR: Beto - Bruno Alves, Ricardo Costa, Andre Almeida (46: William Carvalho), Joao Pereira, Miguel Veloso, Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles (69: Silvestre Varela), Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Heider Postiga (16: Eder).  Booked: none

TD: Paulo BENTO

R: Nestor PITANA (ARG)

 

Photo from Aficionado.hn