Featured Matches
Previous
Manchester City
Liverpool
(1) 2
(3) 2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
1
3
FT
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
0
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Aktobe Lento
Steaua Bucuresti
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
FK Qarabag
SV Salzburg
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AEL
Zenit St Petersburg
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
FC Copenhagen
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
HJK Helsinki
Apoel Nicosia
2
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Grasshoppers
Lille
0
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Besiktas
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
Partizan Belgrade
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Standard Liege
Panathinaikos
0
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
AaB
Dinamo Zagreb
0
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
NK Maribor
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
1
0
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Celtic
4
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
DC United
Toronto FC
3
0
FT
Game Details
New England
Colorado
3
0
FT
Game Details
Chicago
Vancouver Whitecaps
0
0
FT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls
1
1
ESPN2 FT
Game Details
Vitesse Arnhem
Chelsea
1
3
FT
Game Details
Chesterfield
Aston Villa
3
1
FT
Game Details
Hartlepool United
Middlesbrough
0
2
FT
Game Details
Walsall
Leicester City
2
3
FT
Game Details
York City
Nottingham Forest
1
2
FT
Game Details
Bury
Blackburn Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Chester City
Tranmere Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Peterborough United
Charlton Athletic
0
0
FT
Game Details
Plymouth Argyle
Yeovil Town
1
2
FT
Game Details
Port Vale
Bolton Wanderers
1
2
FT
Game Details
Sheffield Wednesday
Newcastle United
0
1
FT
Game Details
Southend United
Queens Park Rangers
0
0
FT
Game Details
St Neots Town
Luton XI
0
0
FT
Game Details
Bolívar
San Lorenzo
1
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 5
Game Details
Novo Hamburgo
ABC
2
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
CR Vasco da Gama
AA Ponte Preta
2
1
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 1
Game Details
Bragantino
São Paulo
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Internacional
Ceará
1
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Manchester City
Liverpool
(1) 2
(3) 2
FT-Pens
Game Details
Los Caimanes
César Vallejo
1
0
FT
Game Details
UTC
Juan Aurich
3
1
FT
Game Details
Universitario de Deportes
Real Garcilaso
2
1
FT
Game Details
U. Católica
Mushuc Runa
0
1
FT
Game Details
Emelec
Deportivo Quito
2
0
FT
Game Details
Independiente del Valle
Club Deportivo Cuenca
3
0
FT
Game Details
Olmedo
El Nacional
1
1
FT
Game Details
Liga de Loja
LDU Quito
1
0
FT
Game Details
Manta F.C.
Barcelona
1
3
FT
Game Details
At. San Luis
Santos
3
1
FT
Game Details
Mérida
Toluca
2
1
FT
Game Details
Morelia
Necaxa
1
1
FT
Game Details
Veracruz
Oaxaca
1
2
FT
Game Details
Atlas
Dorados de Sinaloa
2
1
LIVE 52'
Game Details
Celaya
Puebla
0
0
LIVE 64'
Game Details
UNAM
Atlante
1
1
LIVE 49'
Game Details
Antigua
Municipal
1
1
FT
Game Details
Washington Spirit
FC Kansas City
2
1
FT
Game Details
Houston Dash
Seattle Reign FC
1
4
FT
Game Details
Next

Duarte: Dunga's return is complicated

Brazil Jul 21, 2014
Read
Jun 26, 2014

U.S. ride their luck in World Cup

2014 FIFA World Cup Group G: USA 0-1 Germany

RECIFE, Brazil -- Survival comes in different shapes, by different means. Having barely made it out of Group G, this World Cup's so-called group of death, the U.S. now have to ask themselves: Does it matter how you survive so long as you do?

This is a lucky team. You could even say it's something like blessed. Jurgen Klinsmann and whatever benign, invisible pixie sits on his shoulder have watched the Americans receive nearly every possible break. It wasn't just their own games -- their last-gasp victory over the otherwise-dominant Ghanaians, their draw against a Portuguese side depleted by injury and indiscipline -- that went their way. Every other note the group struck helped: Germany's burying of Portugal into a psychological pit and their frantic draw against Ghana; Ghana's loss to Portugal in distant Brasilia; American heads here have been on a kind of cross-country swivel.

In the end, every tumbler fell into place and the escape hatch unlocked.

It didn't always seem as though it would. In drowning Recife, Brazil, the omens felt off from the beginning. Flooded streets prevented the friends and families of many U.S. players from even attempting to reach the stadium. Anxiety poured in like the floodwater and quickly found its uncomfortable level, washing away any early optimism along with the rats. If Recife were somehow going to be the setting for happy miracles, it would prove to be an unconventional one.

And the Germans looked strong from the start, playing with an intensity that put to rest any talk of this game being the friendly, scoreless draw that would have seen both sides advance. The U.S. players soon began to tire, worn out by a combination of the relentless Germans and that exhausting, heartbreaking draw against Portugal in the jungles of Manaus. After a few minutes, there was never really a question whether the U.S. would lose. All that mattered -- and it really, really mattered -- was by how much.

U.S. INTO THE ROUND OF 16

- Doug McIntyre: Battered, bruised, through
- Jeff Carlisle: U.S. grades
- Chris Jones: U.S. ride their luck
- Klinsmann: "Now we really get started"
- Will the perception of U.S. soccer change?
- Tactics Board: Organized U.S. restrict Germany
- Social media: Reaction to U.S. progress

The inevitable came early in the second half -- a Thomas Muller strike in the 55th minute that, in some ways, took the day's fate out of American hands. In suddenly proximate Brasilia, Ghana was tied with Portugal and needed one more goal to knock out the U.S. Everything felt as though it were tied together with a very thin string. That's how close this all was. "Group of death," U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said after with a sigh of relief. "I died a few times up there."

He bristled, however, at any mention of fortune -- the order of the American matches, for instance, and its more favorable pressures. Gulati reminded us that the U.S. had been drawn into this terrible group in the first place, more than enough bad luck to offset any good that might have come after it. Then, Gulati asked us to cast back to the earlier games, to those many things that the Americans did to win their place in the round of 16. Recall John Brooks' diving header in the dying minutes against Ghana, he said. Maybe the U.S. didn't back into the round of 16 with their loss against Germany; maybe that delirious moment 10 days ago was the instant they advanced.

Even against the Germans, even in a game that never felt within reach, the Americans did plenty to prevent their ouster. Tim Howard and his defense played well, especially 25-year-old Omar Gonzalez, given his first chance to shine on the biggest possible stage. "You just want to manage the moment," he said. After an early hiccup, a ball through his perhaps slightly trembling legs, he made a couple of sliding tackles that were stony perfection. Later, after Muller's goal and all the ugly possibilities it surfaced, Gonzalez his defensive partner Matt Besler had a short conversation in the rain.

U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley is proud of the team's fighting spirit but says they must refocus for their round of 16 match.

"It was our job to lock this game up," Gonzalez said after. "No one else gets behind us."

No one else did. The Americans were battered -- after a midfield collision, Jermaine Jones joined Clint Dempsey on the Island of Misshaped Noses -- their sapped legs making the wet pitch look even more like a bog than it was. Yet they held -- they held and they held. They held mighty Germany to a single goal, Ghana managed only as many against Portugal, and now, the U.S. are through. They will play again in four days, and for these four days at least, they will be one of the last 16 countries on Earth with a chance to win the World Cup.

Not Spain. Not England. Not Italy. Neither Portugal nor Ghana. For them, the group of death held to its hard bargain. But for these Americans, there is life, equal parts messy and sweet. They are the team perhaps most like the rest of us, still working to find our paths through these chaotic and flooded streets: All of us lucky in our ways, and yet each of us given a little more time to earn it.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.