The United States escaped the so-called Group of Death and advanced to the Round of 16 as runners-up after losing 1-0 to Germany on Thursday but winning a tiebreaker with Portugal for second place based on superior goal differential (0 for the US, -3 for Portugal).
The US advance to face the winner of Group H, likely to be Belgium, on July 1 in Salvador.
SET PIECES AND THEN SOME: After a scoreless first half that saw Germany control play but fail to create many clear-cut scoring chances, Germany took the lead in the 55th minute when Thomas Müller netted his fourth goal of the tournament, rifling in the long rebound of a Tim Howard save after a German corner.
SCOREBOARD WATCHING: It was that kind of game for the USA. No real scoring chances. Heavy legs. You knew the USA were losing the game once that Müller's goal went in. So all focus turned to Ghana vs. Portugal, and when Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 81st minute ….
From: U.S. Soccer fans To: Cristiano Ronaldo Subject: THANK YOU!!!— ESPN (@espn) June 26, 2014
OMAR'S 1ST START: LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was inserted in place of Geoff Cameron at right center back and was strong. Aside from a ninth-minute Cameron-like whiff, Gonzalez made some decisive tackles in the box, including two back-to-back interventions in the 14th and 15th minutes.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany – Controlled the midfield while he was in the match and forced US midfielders into repeated fouls as they tried vainly to slow him down.