The United States Men's National Team (USMNT) were mere seconds away from getting to the knockout stage at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.™ Holding a 2-1 lead against Portugal, the US were victimized by a turnover in stoppage time, which turned into a picture perfect cross by Cristiano Ronaldo and a crushing header from Silvestre Varela past American goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 94th minute of play.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw, making today's contest against Germany the biggest game the USMNT has played under head coach (and former Germany skipper) Jurgen Klinsmann.
Sitting on four points, one victory (3 points) and one draw (1 point), the Americans need only a draw today to advance to the second round. As shown in the updated Group G standings below, both Ghana and Portugal (whose match will start simultaneously with the match between the US and Germany) have only one point each and will finish the group stage with no more than four points with a victory today. Germany and the US, with a draw, would sit at five points each, allowing both to advance to the next round.
There is a scenario however, although unlikely, that could see the Americans get eliminated today. They would have to lose to Germany and either Ghana or Portugal would have to win with a wide enough margin to make up their goal difference deficit to that of the US. (Goal Difference is the first tie-breaker in case of equal amount of points)
Although the Germans are an elite international soccer side, they haven't displayed their usual ruthlessness and dominance, drawing 2-2 against the same Ghanaian team the US beat 2-1 in their first game. A victory by the Americans today isn't as far-fetched as it seemed on paper just a few days ago.
Everything is set for a big soccer party in the USA, join us to talk about it, cringe, scream and celebrate!!!