RECIFE- The conditions on the field told the story. Two feet of rain fell in Recife and the elements played a critical role in the most highly anticipated game of Group G. In a winner take-all scenario, the Americans and Team Germany clashed in the epic Group finale that was a battle for the ages.
Players on both sides wore rain soaked jerseys throughout the match. It was so rough, that fans watching this game on the television could clearly see the jerseys were soaked all the way through and every inch of clothing on each player was drenched in water.
The Americans battled the elements and the highly established Germans, who came into the World Cup ranked as the world’s second best team. The picture was clear from the beginning-the cards were stacked against the rugged underdog Team USA and there was little chance of victory for the Americans.
One of Germany’s top strikers, Thomas Mueller, scored the only goal of the game as Team Germany defeated the USA 1-0.
Team USA played excellent defensive soccer the entire first half as Germany saw Tim Howard make multiple spectacular saves, which clearly tested the Germans’ mental strength early on.
Portugal to the rescue, USA advances
There were several scenarios that would allow Team USA to advance to the knockout stage (single elimination stage consisting of the final games of the World Cup). The two most notable scenarios were a draw between Ghana and Portugal or a victory by Portugal. The tiebreaker was goal differential. The USA came into the afternoon with a +1 goal differential. Portugal had a -4 goal differential.
Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1 but Portugal will not advance since Team USA won the tiebreaking procedure. The goal differential ended up as -3 for Portugal and 0 for USA.
Team USA will face Belgium
The Americans will face off against Belgium at a date and time to be determined after the remaining group matches are finished.