SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Despite losing to Germany 1-0, the US Soccer team has found their way past the “Group of Death” and into the knockout stage. They will now travel to Salvador to face Belgium on Tuesday afternoon.
The game was played in torrential rain. The first half was very sluggish with both sets of players struggled to find any rhythm in the first half. Heavy rain started overnight in Recife which left fans wading through flooded roads on the way to the stadium. Traffic was brought to a standstill by floodwaters while family members of the U.S. team were unable to attend because of the adverse weather conditions.
Germany pushed deeper and deeper into US territory but led by outstanding defense by Omar Gonzalez, the US was able to hold a scoreless tie at half. In the second half, Tim Howard made a nice save on header that rebounded to Thomas Muller, who pounded one past Howard for the only goal of the match. Muller now is tied for the leading goal scorer of the World Cup with Neymar from Brazil and Argentina's Lionel Messi.
While this game was going on, Portugal and Ghana were tied with Ghana pressuring, all things staying the same and a Ghana goal for a 2-1 victory would put Ghana through over the US.
But all fears were put aside, when Christiano Ronaldo put one into the net to give Portugal a 2-1 lead. Ronaldo, who just days earlier had kept the US from advancing, now ensures they go through.
Both teams played out the final minutes with the US having a couple opportunities to tie the match, including a Clint Dempsey header that went just over the crossbar.
All eyes will now turn to Belgium, as the US enters the single elimination, 16-team knockout round stage.