World Cup: USA Advances Despite 1-0 Loss

Team USA lost a 1-0 decision to Germany in their final match of Group G at the 2014 World Cup, but they will still continue in the tournament!

Portugal's 2-1 win over Ghana pulled the European side even with the USA in points at 4, with a win, a loss and a draw each, but the USA's goal differential (even) was better than Portugal's -3, enabling the United States to reach the Knockout Stage.

This, coupled with Team USA's achievement in 2010, is the first time American soccer has reached the Round of 16 at back-to-back World Cups.

On a water-logged field in Recife, on the far eastern Atlantic coast of Brazil, Germany dominated possession in the first half, especially over the first ten minutes, but the USA defense held its ground for a scoreless game at the break.

About ten minutes into the second half, Germany's Per Mertesacker put a tough header on goal, which American goalie Tim Howard punched away to the top of the 18-yard box, but Thomas Mueller was there for the rebound, firing it past a diving Howard for the game's only goal, early in the 55th minute.

The USA had its best two chances late in second-half stoppage time, one on a great series of passes to set up Alejandro Bedoya with a right-footed shot that was blocked by a sliding German defender. Soon after, Clint Dempsey had a good look at a header from about three yards out but put it just over the net.

The 1-0 win clinched the top seed in Group G for the Germans.

Over in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, far inland, Portugal and Ghana knew they each need a win and help to advance. Portugal's 4-0 loss to Germany in its Group G opener left them way back in the goal-differential tiebreaker, while Ghana needed to overtake the US in goals scored.

Portugal got an early gift for a second-straight game, as Ghana's John Boye deflected a Portuguese cross into his own net in the 31st minute, leading to a 1-0 halftime lead for Portugal.

But Ghana drew level, just moments after Germany had taken their lead, as Asamoah Gyan headed home his third of the World Cup, putting the USA suddenly in a precarious position. One more Ghana goal, and a 1-0 USA loss, would send the Americans home.

But the same man who crushed the USA on Sunday with a perfect pass, Christian Ronaldo, helped America Thursday with a rebound goal in the 80th minute to give Portugal the 2-1 win.

The USA will be the second seed in the Round of 16, facing the winner of Group H, likely Belgium, on Tuesday, July 1st at 3 p.m. (CDT).