World Cup: USA Advance to Round of 16 After Loss to Germany


Who said we weren’t advancing out of the “Group of Death?” The USMNT have done it after today’s 1-0 loss to Germany, and with some help from Cristiano Ronaldo of all people.

As far as the game goes, the US came out with Omar Gonzalez in for Geoff Cameron and Brad Davis for Alejandro Bedoya. After a quick German test on the attack that Tim Howard stopped, the Yanks settled in and had their share of the ball. Once again led by Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, and Michael Bradley the US found bits of space through a less than speedy German backline. Their first chance came on a right footed screamer from Graham Zusi that flew just over the crossbar.

Just as Germany came out attacking against the US, Portugal did the same to Ghana. An own goal from Ghana on a bad bounce gave the Portuguese a 1-0 lead, which was good news for the US. So, after a few more half-chances for both sides, the USA and Germany were scoreless at the half. All was going well for America at that point.

Then the second half came about, and things got real nervy for everybody. Miroslav Klose came on at halftime for the Germans, and they immediately resumed their Blitzkrieg. Klose had a free header on goal after coming on, but the cross was too high for him to handle. In the 55th minute Germany struck. After Tim Howard made a great save on a corner, the ball came right to Thomas Muller who curled in a beauty to take the lead.

And sure enough, Ghana scored to tie the game as well; meaning another Ghana goal would knock the US out.

A tired US team was energized by the substitutions of  Alejandro Bedoya and DeAndre Yedlin, but could not find many chances on the Germans. It looked very likely that Ghana and Germany would keep adding goals, leaving many fans nervous both in and out of Recife.

Cristiano Ronaldo then scores a goal for Portugal in the 80th minute, he is no longer an American enemy, but a hero that saved us. Not really, but still that goal kept the US in the next round. Portugal would go on to win 2-1.

The US had a final couple of chances late into the match. On a breakaway with Dempsey and Jones, the ball got to Bedoya inside the box who had his shot blocked by a sliding Phillip Lahm. Then, right after the ensuing throw-in, Michael Bradley crossed a good ball into the box that was flicked on by Yedlin. Dempsey, however could not head it into the net after bounce, and that was it. The US had lost 1-0, but advance to the round of 16. A nearly improbable feat 6 months ago. Klinsmann’s side had pulled the “Great Escape.”

The US will play the Group H winner next Tuesday at 4 pm ET from Salvador. At the moment of this article, it appears that Belgium will be that opponent (but are down to 10 men in their game against South Korea).

Remember the US had a closed-door friendly with Belgium cancelled earlier this month, due to “traffic issues.” The US also faced Belgium last summer in Cleveland, and lost 4-2. This is a very different side than played that game, but the goal remains the same: win.

If the US have a healthy Jozy Altidore, they could make a deep run in the tournament, but if they don’t they will lack a true target striker, and it will be increasingly tougher to get farther.