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Portugal rescues 2-2 draw vs. US at World Cup

Costly Mistake For The United States?


BY CHRIS LEHOURITES
AP SPORTS WRITER

MANAUS, Brazil (AP) -- With Cristiano Ronaldo on the field, a one-goal lead is never safe.

The world player of the year rarely sparkled on a hot and humid night in the jungle, but his inch-perfect stoppage-time cross set up Varela for the equalizing goal Sunday in Portugal's 2-2 draw against the United States at the World Cup.

The Real Madrid winger, who has been playing despite a left knee injury, showed flashes of his best, but his impact was minimal until the final seconds of the match. He curled the ball in to a diving Varela, who headed past Tim Howard to give the Portuguese team a slim hope of advancing to the second round and deny the Americans instant advancement.

"He made a great cross," said Howard, Ronaldo's former teammate from their days at Manchester United. "Football's cruel sometimes."

The United States now has four points in Group G, the same as Germany. Both Portugal and Ghana have one point. The Americans will face Germany on Thursday in Recife, while Portugal takes on Ghana at the same time in Brasilia.

"Obviously we're disappointed, but at the end of the day you've got to look at the positives, we got a point," said United States captain Clint Dempsey, who scored to give the Americans a 2-1 lead in the 81st. "It's going down to the last game and hopefully we get the job done."

Nani scored first for Portugal, shooting past a sprawling Howard in the fifth minute. But the Americans responded in the second half as Portugal seemed to wilt in the stifling heat.

Jermaine Jones made it 1-1 with a curling shot in the 64th after a cross from Graham Zusi made its way through the Portugal defense. And Dempsey, playing with a broken nose, then put the Americans ahead, using his stomach to direct the ball into the net from a cross by Zusi.

"Now we have to go out and beat Germany, that's what we have to do," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "We have to play Germany, we have one less day to recover, we played in the Amazon, they played on a place with less travel. We have to do it the tough way."

Dempsey's goal was his fourth at a World Cup and second at this year's tournament. Jones scored his third goal for the United States national team and first in almost two years.

It was all Portugal for much of the first half, with Ronaldo in the starting lineup but getting less involved as the match progressed. The Americans, however, started to get more and more chances and even had a shot from Michael Bradley cleared off the line by Ricardo Costa in the 55th.

"There didn't seem to be any problem with Cristiano Ronaldo," Portugal coach Paulo Bento said. "What happened during the game has something to do with our other players."

The heat in the Amazon rainforest, however, seemed to slow the Portuguese as the match wore on.

In the 39th minute, referee Nestor Pitana of Argentina called for a cooling break, the first such decision to be taken at this World Cup.

At the start of the match, FIFA listed the temperature at 30 degrees C (86 degrees F) with 66 percent humidity. FIFA uses the "Wet Bulb Globe Temperature" to determine when official cooling breaks should be added, and says the WGBT must be above 32 degrees C (90 degrees F) for them to be considered.

The breaks are supposed to occur in the 30th and 75th minutes. There was no break in the second half, but that didn't stop Ronaldo from creating the final goal.

"It was a thriller," Klinsmann said. "Everybody who had a chance to be today in Manaus will talk about this game for a long time."

---

Lineups

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

Portugal: Beto; Andre Almeida (William Carvalho, 46), Ricardo Costa, Bruno Alves, Joao Pereira; Miguel Veloso, Joao Moutinho, Raul Meireles (Varela, 69th), Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo; Helder Postiga (Eder, 16th).

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
brfdms June 22 2014 at 8:25 PM

Thanks to Bradley's lazy play at midfield giving the ball away with .25 seconds left in the game, Portugal stays alive with a last second goal. A pass back to a teamate or a kick down the field or out of bounds to take up time would have been great. Instead, he tries to dribble around two defenders and gives up the ball with .25 seconds left. The ball is played out to Ronaldo and he crosses it for a header and they tie! Thanks Mr. Bradley!!!

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26 replies
aldana58 June 22 2014 at 9:34 PM

All these soccer hatters, they must feel threatened by the sport. What a dying breed, fools! lol

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12 replies
jasonbossert_ma June 22 2014 at 8:34 PM

And this my friend is why Americans do not like soccer the rules are ridiculous the game is ridiculous and it's unfair !

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22 replies
aebattelle June 22 2014 at 9:40 PM

One of the most exciting sports events I have ever watched. I was amazed to see the 8 pm finish seemingly arrive just minutes after the 6 pm start. You felt desperate for a goal when the US was behind and the clock ran like mad, then you sweated bullets when they were ahead and time suddenly crawled. ABattelle, Brookline, MA

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1 reply
siscosdad aebattelle June 22 2014 at 10:39 PM

Soccer? Really?

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3 replies
Luce Family June 22 2014 at 9:34 PM

The ending was absolutely pathetic and probably knocked us out of the knock out round. Everything from Bradley playing with the ball at midfield to Ronaldo being guarded one on one to the 2 lazy jogging center backs to Howard not cutting off the cross was absolutely horrid. Back to Back games with late goals is a sign of poor conditioning and poor coaching. Any why Wondo was used a sub with a 2-1 lead late in the game is beyond me??? I love Wondo, but he has no business being in the game at that point. Mark my words, when Ghana wins and Germany wins and the US loses the goal differential with Ghana, FIFA will lose all of the casual soccer fans in the US when they discover that there is no head to head tiebreak and we are out and Ghana is in. Why they have never changed the tiebreak rules is beyond my comprehension. At least we were only 30 seconds from advancing. I didn't think we'd ever be that close. Too bad it was all for nothing......

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5 replies
rrfwoody June 22 2014 at 8:30 PM

Prevent Defense=LOSS. They will lose against Germay

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2 replies
impexlink rrfwoody June 22 2014 at 8:46 PM

Of course they will lose. America should stay with football and basketball not soccer

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12 replies
siscosdad rrfwoody June 22 2014 at 10:39 PM

No......they won't.

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3 replies
lauravakar June 22 2014 at 8:43 PM

Poor choice by Bradley cost US advancement.

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4 replies
Jeremy June 22 2014 at 8:36 PM

Dumb move to put the sub in at the 90th minute. There were 4 mins of extra time, then they put the sub in so the ref makes it 5 minutes of extra time. Portugal score in the 5th extra minute. They should have waited to put the sub in once the extra time began - amateur mistake that could cost dearly.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
jjohnchucker June 22 2014 at 9:38 PM

Bench Bradley next game!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
lipmister1 June 22 2014 at 9:52 PM

I would never play Bradley again ever, banish that bald head for good, you suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
fredka27 lipmister1 June 23 2014 at 1:00 AM

need more blacks to make the US look decent in any sport, Russians are the only once that can compete with blacks eg., High Jump in Olympics for one.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
generaljimt fredka27 June 23 2014 at 6:07 AM

Hockey...still the domain of the white man...weak ankles on the BROTHAS you know...

Flag +1 rate up
jfl2014 fredka27 June 23 2014 at 8:41 AM

fredka27, you're full of ****!!! If you're logic was correct, why are the Africans losing????

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