Silvestre Varela scores on Tim Howard in the 95th minute. Credit: Getty Images
The Americans will need the third game of pool play after all.
Team USA earned a single point Sunday night in a 2-2 tie against Portugal in a highly anticipated Group G match.
But for elated Team USA fans all over the United States and the world, the draw is a stunning setback.
Portugal’s Silvestre Varela netted the final shot of the night, coming over four minutes into stoppage time to shock the leading Americans and keep themselves alive to continue to vie for a berth.
The Yanks came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to take a 2-1 lead and appeared to be headed for a sure clinch.
First, Jermaine Jones netted a brilliant scoring chance created after a missed shot to tie the match in the 65th minute.
Then, Clint Dempsey scored in the 81st minute, putting the United States just minutes away from clinching another three points.
The momentum created by the U.S. in their win over Ghana last week received a big hit early in Sunday’s contest, when Portugal’s Nani put his national team on top with a goal just five minutes into the match.
But Team USA was able to create their own momentum, thanks in part to five incredible saves from USA goalie Tim Howard.
A win against Germany at noon Thursday means they are in. But a draw or loss makes it much more complicated.