Clint Dempsey of the United States is challenged by Portugal’s Bruno Alves (left) and Ricardo Costa during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group G match Sunday in Brazil. Warren Little/Getty Images
It was heartbreaking. It was stunning. It was the reason they call Group G the “Group of Death.”
With 30 seconds left and despite astronomical odds, the United States men’s national soccer team was about to qualify for the second round of the World Cup.
But just like that, Portugal’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo crossed to Silvestre Varela, who headed it into the net, tying it, 2-2, marking the final play of the game.
This means everyone in the group of death has a mathematical chance at advancing.
This means the U.S. and Germany are in good position to advance, because a tie gets them both into the round of 16.
Still, this was a brutal end for the U.S., which fought back after trailing early. Jermaine Jones scored the tying goal at the beginning of the second half, and with about 10 minutes to go, Clint Dempsey, who recovered from a broken nose during the U.S.-Ghana match, nailed a goal with about 10 minutes to go, putting the U.S. ahead 2-1.
As Ives Galarcep, of Soccer by Ives, said on Twitter: Before the game kicked off in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon, most U.S. fans would have taken a tie. But not after the gutsy, aggressive, world-class performance delivered by the U.S. squad on Sunday.
The U.S. will face Germany on Thursday at noon. That’s the same time and date when Portugal will face off with Ghana.
We live blogged the game, so keep reading if you want a play-by-play.