USA Squanders Lead, Manages 2-2 Draw Against Portugal

PHOTO: Portugals Silvestre Varela heads the ball past United States goalkeeper Tim Howard to score his sides second goal and tie the game 2-2 during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Brazil.
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Red, white -- and oh so blue.

The USA and Portugal played to a 2-2 draw in Sunday's much-anticipated World Cup match in Manaus, Brazil -- a draw that silenced American fans and postponed what had been premature celebrations of reaching the knockout round.

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On a hot and humid night, it was Portugal's equalizer by Silvestre Varela in the fifth minute of stoppage time -- off a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo -- that broke the hearts of Americans who thought the USA had all but won and qualified for the round of 16.

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Silvestre Varela scores a goal in stoppage time to give Portugal a 2-2 tie against the United States, June 22, 2014.

"Obviously, we're disappointed, but you've got to look at the positives," U.S. captain Clint Dempsey told ESPN after the match.

Both teams are still alive in Group G -- also known as the "Group of Death" -- and await the final matchday to see which two teams advance. A U.S. win against Portugal would have meant passage to the round of 16 tonight, without having to wait for its final match Thursday against Germany.

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Jermaine Jones scores a goal for the United States against Portugal in the World Cup, June 22, 2014.

"They did an amazing job, we were just that close. Didn't make it quite yet," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told ESPN. "So we've got to make it against Germany."

Both teams battled extreme heat during Sunday's match in muggy Manaus, where the temperature in the Amazon rainforest city reached 84 degrees with 70 percent humidity. Officials even called for a water break before halftime, the first time that's ever happened at a World Cup.

Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones both scored goals for the U.S. to the delight of screaming fans in red, white and blue, while Nani and Varela scored for Portugal.

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