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USA vs Portugal Recap

To date, the USA vs Portugal 2014 World Cup game has been, by far, the best game I have ever watched the United States play.

USA vs. Portugal: Interesting Game Facts:

  • Beasley is the only USA player to play in 4 World Cups.
  • USA vs Portugal featured the first ever World Cup water break (due to heat and humidity the refs have been advised to make this judgement).
  • USA have only kept 2 clean sheets in the World Cup since 1990.
  • USA have never won a game since being scored on first in the World Cup.

USA vs. Portugal: The Game

The first opening minutes of the game were very even between the two sides. It wasn’t until the 4th minute of the game when Geoff Cameron mishandled a ball to clear, which found itself at the feet of Luis Nani who put the ball into the roof of the net over Tim Howard from inside the 6 yard box. Being down early it took some time for the USA men’s national team to settle into the game and to make their first dangerous attempt on goal through Fabian Johnson who put a nice shot on target that was deflected out for a corner. Much of the play continued with the United States seeing enough of ball possession to be dangerous at times. Jermaine Jones was a highlight for USA, connecting well in the midfield moving the ball forward with Fabian Johnson and Michael Bradley.

Johnson offered himself as a dangerous threat on the right hand side, cutting in to take shots on his left foot. Watching the space, Johnson found himself in open wide positions where he was able to receive the ball from the opposite side of the field and move forward into the attack where he opted to cut inside and fire a shot. The second half closed with some excitement for Portuguese fans in the 45th minute when Howard was forced to make 2 saves; the first strike coming from Nani that slicked passed the keepers gloves and ricocheted off of the post for Éder to make the second attempt. A finger tip save from Howard kept the USA team at a one-nil deficit.

USA started off the first 10 minutes of the second half with a very strong performance. Dempsey had a early second half opportunity to beat Beto near post who was forced to make the save. It was clear USA had made some adjustments in the second half visibly where they were able to tighten down the defensive formation when Portugal was on the attack. It wasn’t until the 64th minute that Jermaine Jones electrified the stadium with a strike that had Beto rooted to the ground as it curled into the side pocket from wide outside the 18 yard box. Portugal struggled getting into the attack where Ronaldo was just caught offside but the play remained fairly even where both sides had moments to make an attempt on target. It wasn’t until the dying minutes of the game when Portugal shocked the United States and leveled the game at 2-2 with a 95th minute header from Varela who kept Portugal alive off a perfect cross from Cristiano Ronaldo.

With that, all teams in the group are still in position to advance to the round of 16.

Lets go USA!

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