It’s final — the U.S. lost, but still moved on thanks to Portugal’s win over Ghana. Germany won the group with a 1-0 win over the U.S.
Cristiano Ronaldo sent the United States through to the knockout round.
Yes, the same player who shattered the Americans’ dreams of beating Portugal by orchestrating a last-minute goal on Sunday is now responsible for the U.S. advancing.
Ronaldo scored in the 80th minute to give Portugal a 2-1 win over Ghana. The U.S. and Portugal both finished 1-1-1 with 4 points in the group of death. The U.S. moves forward because its goal differential (0) was superior to Portugal’s (-3).
The U.S., meanwhile, lost 1-0 to Germany in a game that played out as most expected. Neither team played for a draw. The Germans were a far more talented and dangerous team. Playing on an extra day’s rest, they had more energy than the U.S., which played its last game in the middle of a tropical rain forest.
A drenched field made for sloppy play, and only a brilliant Thomas Muller strike – his ninth World Cup goal in nine games – could break through.
There will be time to examine the United States’ play and what it means for its chances in the knockout round. The American’s will likely end up playing Belgium, and will need to be significantly better than they were today.
But the U.S. made it through. That, for now, is enough.