The USMNT went into their Thursday match against No. 2 ranked team in the world, Germany, looking to erase the bitter taste in their mouths. It was a bitter taste that still lingered from giving up a 2-1 lead to Portugal just as extra time wound down. A win in that match would have sent the US team into the knockout stage, and placed them in the lead of Group G going into their final group game.
The 2-2 tie meant two things. First, it breathed life into Portugal’s chances. Second, it made things significantly more complicated for that of the Americans.
The World Cup tiebreakers include not only head-to-head advantages, but also goals scored as well. Because the United States beat Ghana 2-1 in their first match, whereas Portugal suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Germany, and because both teams tied in their head-to-head contest, the USMNT owns the goals scored advantage.
Lines and hope for the American team became a little more blurry when Portugal scored their second goal of the afternoon, whereas they were already losing 1-0, thanks to Thomas Muller’s superb strike.
However, Portugal would have needed either Germany to score again or to score once more themselves against Ghana in order to move on to the knockout stage. Lukily for the USMNT, neither of those options came to fruition, and the Amerians, despite losing to Germany, will indeed move on from the Group of Death in the World Cup.