Final: Germany 1, U.S. 0
It's final — the U.S. lost, but still moved on thanks to Portugal's win over Ghana. Germany won the group with a 1-0 win over the U.S.
Cristiano Ronaldo sent the United States through to the knockout round.
Yes, the same player who shattered the Americans' dreams of beating Portugal by orchestrating a last-minute goal on Sunday is now responsible for the U.S. advancing.
Ronaldo scored in the 80th minute to give Portugal a 2-1 win over Ghana. The U.S. and Portugal both finished 1-1-1 with 4 points in the group of death. The U.S. moves forward because its goal differential (0) was superior to Portugal's (-3).
The U.S., meanwhile, lost 1-0 to Germany in a game that played out as most expected. Neither team played for a draw. The Germans were a far more talented and dangerous team. Playing on an extra day's rest, they had more energy than the U.S., which played its last game in the middle of a tropical rain forest.
A drenched field made for sloppy play, and only a brilliant Thomas Muller strike – his ninth World Cup goal in nine games – could break through.
With four minutes of stoppage time, the U.S. needs time to move as quickly as possible.
In the other game:
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored, putting Portugal up 2-1 over Ghana. This helps the U.S. Portugal's goal means Ghana will need late-game heroics to again knock the U.S. from the World Cup. At this point, as long as Portugal stays ahead or tied, the U.S. will go through. There doesn't appear to be enough time for Portugal to make up a -3 goal differential.
Two U.S. players, Jones and Pedoya, were involved in a nasty collision. Bedoya was helped back to his feet. Jones was on the ground and tended to for a long time. He returned to his feet and stayed on the field.
The U.S. has executed poorly when it does managed to sustain any offensive pressure. The latest corner kick ended with the ball harmlessly being knocked away by the Germans. It never neared an American player.
Kyle Beckermann now has been shown the yellow card for a bad foul as the game has gotten chippier with just a half hour left.
In the other game:
Ghana has tied things up, 1-1. A draw in this game could still bode well for the U.S., but if Ghana scores again, the U.S. could be in trouble.
On a set-piece, Tim Howard blocked the first attempt, but wasn't able to stop the second attempt by Thomas Muller. Germany is up 1-0.
Only one line-up change at halftime.
HALFTIME: U.S. 0, Germany 0
Analysis from Mike Foss in Recife: The United States battled Germany to a scoreless draw in a torrential downpour in Recife. Any ideas of collusion between U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his coutnryman Joachim Loew were put to rest almost immediately.
Germany battered the U.S. for the first 20 minutes of the match, coming close to finding the back of the net on several occasions. The U.S. countered late on, finding several opportunities to attack, the best from Graham Zusi, whose effort from 20 yards out just missed over the goal.
Here are three things the U.S. needs to execute in the second half.
1. Stay compact.
If the U.S. is going to continue to concede the flanks to Germany, the American backline has to maintain its shape. Centerbacks Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler along with midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones are setting up as a square when Germany swings in crosses, which is fine, so long as they continue to keep that integrity.
2. Don't get caught going forward.
When the U.S. does get opportunities to attack, it's important to not send the same numbers forward that it did against Portugal. Allow Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Graham Zusi, and Brad Davis to get forward, but not at the expense of leaving the defense vulnerable.
3. Don't waste possession.
When the U.S. has the ball without an option to counterattack, it needs to protect possession. Keep the ball, take the air out of the game, and slow down the pace. With Portugal up 1-0 on Ghana in the other Group G match, even a loss would send the U.S. through, so it can't be overly anxious with passes.
Michael Bradley continued to struggle, narrowly avoiding a yellow card and not getting to the ball on one play that prompted a ref's warning.
Omar Gonzalez was called for a yellow card for a bad foul. Thomas Mueller will continue to push him, so he must be careful not to get another card and be suspended for the next game, if it happens.