FINAL SCORE: USA 1 Belgium 2
The USA’s World Cup adventure ended in gut-wrenching drama in the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador as Belgium won 2-1. Goalkeeper Tim Howard was the star of the show for the USMNT as he swotted away everything that Belgium threw at him during the 90 minutes. The best chance of the 90 though fell to Chris Wondolowski of the U.S. in injury time, but in the box, one-on-one with Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois, he blasted it over the bar.
In extra time, Belgium scored twice, through Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. There was a lifeline provided for the U.S. through youngster Julian Green, who scored a volley after a beautiful ball from Michael Bradley into the Belgian box. Sadly there was no miracle, and in truth, Belgium deserved to go through. The Red Devils will play Argentina on July 5 in the World Cup quarterfinals.
Here’s how it went down at the Arena Fonte Nova:
Geoff Cameron Was Yellow Carded Early On
Kyle Beckerman’s replacement, Geoff Cameron, was yellow carded for a foul just inside the U.S. half after 17 minutes. It was a challenge straight out of the Stoke City training ground. The U.S. has struggled early in the game as the Belgian team decided to attack early, using a strategy that proved successful to Germany in the last game. The other major talking point early on? There was a pitch invader:
The pitch invader was Mario Ferri, he’s done it before. His t-shirt appeared to have a message related to feeding people in the Favelas of Brazil.
And this is him:
DeMarcus Beasley Made an Amazing Goal Line Clearance
The pressure is growing on the U.S. team with Beasley getting back heroically to deflect a Jan Vertonghen cross from the left wing. Tim Howard was beaten but the veteran Beasley was there for the U.S. team. Had Beasley not been there, Fellaini would have tapped it home. Probably.
Moments earlier Kevin De Bruyne had wasted a great opportunity during a 4-on-3 attack for the Belgian team.
Fabian Johnson Came Off Injured at 30 Minutes
Fabian Johnson pulled up with a suspected hamstring injury and was taken off by Klinsmann. DeAndre Yedlin comes on at aged just 20 into one of the most important games U.S. soccer history. Yedlin plays in the MLS with the Seattle Sounders.
Tim Howard Was Forced Into an Acrobatic Save Early in the Second
Tim Howard took no chances with a Dries Mertens header from long range after De Bruyne scooped the ball into him from the right wing. After looping in the air for what seemed like an eternity, Howard tipped it over the bar. The resulting corner came to nothing. An unsettling way for the U.S. to start the second half.
Thank God For Tim Howard
Belgium is overrunning the U.S. defense in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Tim Howard has been called into action more than once to save his team. A stinging cross was fired across the U.S. six-yard box at one point but was missed by everyone. Then moments later, Divock Origi, hit the cross bar with a looping header. Just after that, Mertens tried to back heel it into the U.S. goal after a left-wing cross from Origi.
Tim Howard has made more saves in this game than in any other of his three World Cup games so far this tournament. It’s all Belgium in the second half in the Arena Fonte Nova.
Just when you thought he couldn’t do it again, at 75 minutes Howard made a sprawling save against Kevin Mirallas. The Everton striker got one-on-one with Howard (who also plays for Everton) on left side of Howard’s goal.
Somehow, after wave upon wave of Belgian attack, the U.S. were still in the game, Tim Howard’s saves have been the stuff of legend.
Chris Wondolowski Missed the Chance of the Game in Injury Time
A looping Geoff Cameron ball into the Belgian box was headed down straight into the path of Chris Wondolowski who blazed his shot over the bar. Courtois was struggling to cover the goal and Wondo failed to take advantage. A crazy miss, an unreal opportunity for the U.S. to steal the game having been under pressure for nearly the entire 90 minutes. Shortly after the miss, the ref blew for full time. Extra time here we come.
Even Clint Dempsey had to yell at Wondo for that miss.
On the replay, looked like Wondolowski was onside, but AR had his flag up. Would have been a tragic missed call if Wondo had converted that.
— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) July 1, 2014
Kevin De Bruyne Gave Belgium the Lead 2 Mins Into Extra Time
Kevin De Bruyne the best player in the whole game, finally beat Tim Howard. Substitute Romelu Lukaku got free on the right-wing and brought the ball into the box. Rather than shoot he slid it across to De Bruyne, who took it on to his right foot to score to Howard’s right corner.
Romelu Lukaku Made it 2-0 After 105 Minutes
Romelu Lukaku made it 2-0 to Belgium after being put in by the golden boy Kevin De Bruyne. The Everton striker was able to power it past his club-team mate. It’s his seventh goal for Belgium. It’s game over for the U.S.
Julian Green Made it 2-1 After 106 Minutes
Julian Green gave the U.S. a lifeline after 106 minutes. This game isn’t over yet. The young Bayern Munich player was the most controversial inclusion to the team. He volleyed home a beautiful ball in from Michael Bradley.
And here’s Julian Green’s moment of magic in Gif form:
Clint Dempsey Missed an Easy Chance after 113 Minutes
A well worked free kick from 30 yards saw Michael Bradley knock the ball to Jermaine Jones who played it into Clint Dempsey. His first touch was heavy and Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois was able to dive on the ball. It trickled out to Julian Green who had an empty net but he couldn’t make a clean connection with it and Belgium was able to clear it.
The USA take on Belgium in the World Cup Round of 16, one of the underdog favorites to win the World Cup, inside the Arena Fonte Nova in the city of Salvador. The biggest news coming out of both camps is that Kyle Beckerman is out of the U.S. team and Vincent Kompany is in for Belgium. The odds say that Belgium is the favorite but this isn’t a math test, this is a soccer game, get yourself ready for the game by watching this incredible hype video above. The winner of this game will play Argentina on July 5.
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Here’s how the two teams will line up from the start: