The United States drew 2-2 with Portugal in World Cup action tonight tonight, in a match with two lead changes and an equalizer in the final minute. It was Clint Dempsey's torso that was able to put the US ahead, but a Cristiano Ronaldo cross at the death sent both sides home with a point.
For the USA going forward, the scenarios are relatively simply with a positive result. Win, and the United States not only advance they win the group. Draw, and Germany-US finish one two. A draw between Ghana and Portugal also sends the US into the next round.
Should the US lose and Portugal-Ghana have a winner, then it comes down to goal differential as a tiebreaker. In that regard, Ghana are only -1 in goal differential with Portgual currently -4 at the bottom of the group.
The US had two attempts on an open goal in the second half, with one at the 55' mark kept out by an incredible reflex save by defender Ricardo Costa. Jermaine Jones scored ten minutes later to finally bring the US level. Despite going into the locker room at halftime down a goal, the United States played an amazing 45 minutes of soccer in the second half that fell just short of putting them through to the round of 16.
So the draw is +150 for the #USMNT vs Germany. Why is that relevant? It's the shortest draw price we've seen all tournament for a reason...— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) June 23, 2014
Much of what I said prematch about this game ended up coming true. The United States replaced the injured Jozy Altidore with Graham Zusi, leaving Clint Dempsey alone up top. The US weren't able to get that early goal, after a completely defensive breakdown put them on the back foot, but they were able to control the pace of things for most of the match.
Unsurprising then that the winds are starting to change ever so slightly. With both second round matches in the group ending in draws, we go into the final day with no team significantly altering their fate. Germany and the US go into their match in first and second, with a draw sending both teams through. Expect very little in the way of risky play.
Eight million tweets were sent during the USA v Portugal match, with the Dempsey goal the second most tweeted about event of the World Cup. Only the opening own goal in the Brazil - Croatia match had more folk talking about it. It was one of the rare shared moments that unites people across the country.