-- So close ...
The United States came within 30 seconds of victory Sunday, about to enter the World Cup’s round of 16, about to overcome history and sweltering heat in a come-from-behind win.
But then Silvestre Varela erased America’s storybook win, finding the back of the net in the fifth minute of stoppage time to give Portugal a 2-2 tie.
“It’s tough, but it’s just the way it goes,” U.S. captain Clint Dempsey said after the game. “We’re Americans. I think we like to do things the hard way.”
The team’s fate will now emerge Thursday, with the outcome of Group G -– nicknamed the “Group of Death” -– involving different scenarios. The United States and Germany both have four points and are tied atop the group, ahead of Ghana and Portugal, with one point each.
The top two teams in the group advance. In the group stage of the World Cup, wins are worth three points, and draws are worth one point. All four teams have one game remaining.
Germany and the United States will play Thursday in Recife, and Ghana and Portugal will kick off at the same time in Brasilia.
Here are the scenarios:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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