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US Reaches World Cup Knockout Stages

US Fans BrazilThe United States has reached the knockout stage of the World Cup for the second consecutive time after they lost 1-0 on Thursday in soggy conditions to Germany. The US advances as runners-up in the group as Portugal beat Ghana 2-1.

Portugal and the US both finished with four points, but the Americans advanced from a so-called “Group of Death” because their goal difference was even and the Portuguese were minus-3.

The U.S. will next play Belgium next Tuesday in the round of 16.

“This is a huge huge step and now we can’t wait until round of 16,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said after the match. “Everyone said we had no chance, we took the chance and move on. And now we really want to prove a point.”

Germany dominated for long periods of the match and went ahead 10 minutes into the second half. Per Mertesacker’s header was pushed out by Tim Howard, but the ball fell out to Muller, who picked his spot in the bottom right-hand corner of the goal from the edge of the penalty area.

Was this a vintage USA performance today? Far from it. Much like the Ghana game, the US lost the midfield battle and were without the ball for long periods of time. The differences between the two games is that Ghana opened the US up time and time again, and if it was not for Howard, the Americas would have suffered a heavy defeat. But against Germany, Howard was called upon to make some saves, but they were all ones you would expect him to make as the Americans were much better defensively than they were 10 days or so ago.