U.S. team settles for 2-2 draw with Portugal at World Cup
MANAUS, Brazil — With Cristiano Ronaldo on the field, a one-goal lead is never safe.
The world player of the year rarely sparkled on a hot, humid night, but his stoppage-time cross set up Silvestre Varela for the tying goal Sunday in Portugal's 2-2 draw against the United States at the World Cup.
The Real Madrid winger, who has been playing despite a left knee injury, showed flashes of his best, but his impact was minimal until the final seconds of the match. He curled the ball in to a diving Varela, who headed past Tim Howard to give the Portuguese team a slim hope of advancing to the second round and deny the Americans instant advancement.
“He made a great cross,” said Howard, Ronaldo's former teammate from their days at Manchester United. “Football's cruel sometimes.”
The United States has four points in Group G, the same as Germany. Portugal and Ghana have one point each. The Americans will face Germany on Thursday in Recife, while Portugal takes on Ghana at the same time in Brasilia.
“Obviously we're disappointed, but at the end of the day, you've got to look at the positives. We got a point,” said United States captain Clint Dempsey, who scored to give the Americans a 2-1 lead in the 81st. “It's going down to the last game, and hopefully, we get the job done.”
Nani scored first for Portugal, shooting past a sprawling Howard in the fifth minute. But the Americans responded in the second half as Portugal seemed to wilt in the stifling heat.
Jermaine Jones made it 1-1 with a curling shot in the 64th after a cross from Graham Zusi made its way through Portugal's defense. And Dempsey, playing with a broken nose, then put the Americans ahead, using his stomach to direct the ball into the net from a cross by Zusi.
“Now we have to go out and beat Germany, that's what we have to do,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “We have to play Germany, we have one less day to recover, we played in the Amazon, they played on a place with less travel. We have to do it the tough way.”
Dempsey's goal was his fourth at a World Cup and second at this year's tournament. Jones scored his third goal for the United States national team and first in almost two years.
It was all Portugal for much of the first half, with Ronaldo in the starting lineup but getting less involved as the match progressed. The Americans, however, started to get more and more chances and had a shot from Michael Bradley cleared off the line by Ricardo Costa in the 55th.
“There didn't seem to be any problem with Cristiano Ronaldo,” Portugal coach Paulo Bento said. “What happened during the game has something to do with our other players.”
In the 39th minute, referee Nestor Pitana of Argentina called for a cooling break, the first such decision to be taken at this World Cup.
At the start of the match, FIFA listed the temperature at 86 degrees with 66 percent humidity.
“It was a thriller,” Klinsmann said. “Everybody who had a chance to be today in Manaus will talk about this game for a long time.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL notebook: Seahawks activate cornerback Lane
- Michigan State humbles Penn State in finale
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Penguins’ Johnston agrees with Dubinsky suspension
- Offense continues to click as Panthers hold off Kent State, 85-76
- New scenery for 1st-year Riverview boys basketball coach Sapotichne
- Testing of Tut’s tomb hints at hidden chamber
- Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
- Penn State women’s soccer team tops WVU, advances to College Cup
- Clairton captures 12th WPIAL football championship
- South Fayette VFW sending care packages overseas