This past Sunday the United States soccer team competed against Portugal in the second of three matches of the opening round in the World Cup. The game was the most shocking, dramatic and most of all heartbreaking game of this year’s World Cup for America.
Portugal struck first scoring in the fifth minute of the game. US final responded in the sixty-fourth minute and took the lead with just under nine minutes left in regular time.
Portugal were desperate, a loss meant their World Cup dreams ended that night and the US and Germany advance. Had the game had four minutes of stoppage time that would have been the case.
Instead there was five minutes of stoppage time. Portugal’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the premier players of the sport, was held entirely in check by US defenses, until the last thirty seconds.
US midfielder Michael Bradley was dribbling the clock out and then unforgivably coughs the ball up and who else is there to clean up the mess? Ronaldo.
Ronaldo streaks down the sideline and with less than twenty seconds left mashes the ball up the field to Portugal’s left wing Andre Almeida. Almeida in perfect harmony crushes a perfect curving pass to the top left corner of the penalty area and midfielder Miguel Veloso. With less than sixteen seconds left Veloso places the tying goal into the back of the US net.
Portugal came within twenty second of elimination. Portugal still has their back against the wall and needs an otherworldly performance Thursday against Ghana to advance. The US on the other hand doesn’t even have to win their match against Germany to advance.
If the US wins, the team is through to the knockout round. If the US ties, the team makes it to the knockout round. If the US loses things get tricky, but the door is not closed… totally. In the case of a loss the advancing team would be determined by goal differential.
Currently, Germany is plus four, the US is plus one, Ghana is minus one and Portugal is minus four.
If the US lost to Germany by two and Portugal wins by two, the US still advance to the knock round (US 1-2=-1 Portugal -4+2=-2). If Portugal wins by one goal the US would have to lose by at least 5 to be eliminated. In the result of a goal differential tie, lots are drawn and a advancing country is determined by chance.
If Ghana wins and the US loses by two or more, Ghana advances.
At the moment FiveThiryEight has group G advancement odds as follows:
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