US escape the 'Group of Death'

, 26 June, 1comment  |  Jump to most recent
Howard through to knockout stage
Tim Howard and the United States completed the remarkable achievement of escaping the 2014 World Cup's so-called "Group of Death", advancing to the knockout phase on goal difference.

A draw against Germany would have secured passage for Jurgen Klinsmann's side but in the end a narrow defeat was enough as Portugal's victory over Ghana in the other match in Brasilia was not enough to make up their inferior goal difference.

It was a close-run thing in the second half, though. The Germans dominated possession in the first half and found Howard and the US defence in stubborn mood but broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second.

Howard beat away Per Mertesaker's header well but was powerless to stop Thomas Mller's shot from the rebound that flew past him to make it 1-0 to Germany.

When Ghana equalised 12 minutes after half time, cancelling out John Boye's first-half own goal, it left the US on a knife-edge — another goal for the Ghanaians would have sent them through on goals scored.

It was Portugal, who needed a five-goal swing in order to qualify, who scored next, though, through Cristiano Ronaldo and their 2-1 win was enough to send the US through to a likely date with Kevin Mirallas' Belgium in the round of 16.

 

Reader Comments (1)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 01/07/2014 at 00:58:18
Well, the USA will have to buck the trend in the World Cup so far as the six teams who have already qualified for the last 8 are all group winners... but, if any team has a chance, it's the USA.

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