SALVADOR, Brazil (July 1, 2014) – The U.S. Men’s National Team nearly pulled off the most dramatic of late comebacks, but Belgium held off the vigorous late efforts to earn a 2-1 victory against the USA in the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup at Arena Fonte Nova.
Tim Howard had one of the best goalkeeping efforts in U.S. MNT and FIFA World Cup history with 16 saves. It is the most saves since FIFA has recorded that statistic in the World Cup.
Julian Green made his FIFA World Cup debut and scored in extra time to keep the USA’s hopes alive when the squad was trailing by two goals.
Romelu Lukaku’s 105th-minute tally proved to be the game-winner. Kevin De Bruyne assisted Lukaku’s first goal and also scored an unassisted goal in the third minute of extra time.
With all of the defensive efforts during a scoreless 90-minute regulation, the USA had a high-percentage scoring chance in the third minute of stoppage time when Jermaine Jones headed the ball to a wide-open Chris Wondolowski at the edge of the six-yard box, but the striker’s right-footed shot skewed wide of the goal.
Belgium advances to the tournament quarterfinals against Argentina on Saturday, July 5, at Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia (12 p.m. ET, ABC).
For full standings and results, visit ussoccer.com’s 2014 FIFA World Cup homepage.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
BEL – Kevin De Bruyne (unassisted), 93rd minute: Shortly into extra time, Belgium broke the stalemate as Romelu Lukaku dribbled from midfield to the right side of the box. USA center back Omar Gonzalez had a small clearance, but Kevin De Bruyne retrieved the ball, dribbled to his right and slotted at shot to the inside of the far left post. USA goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was a rock all night in the goal, could not quite stretch his right leg out far enough as Belgium took the lead. USA 0, BEL 1
BEL – Romelu Lukaku (Kevin De Bruyne), 105th minute: Belgium seemingly put the match out of reach for the USA when Kevin De Bruyne dished from the left side to Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku shot from the edge of the six-yard box past Tim Howard to take a two-goal lead. USA 0, BEL 2
USA – Julian Green (Michael Bradley), 107th minute: Julian Green made his FIFA World Cup debut in stoppage time of the first 15-minute overtime. In the second 15-minute extra session, Green came through in the clutch. Midfielder Michael Bradley chipped the ball in beautifully, connecting with Green at the penalty spot. In the air, the 19-year-old volleyed with his right foot into the right side of the frame. Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois got a glove on the ball, but his slight deflection was not enough to change the trajectory of the shot. Green became the 21st American player to record a goal in a FIFA World Cup. USA 1, BEL 2 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Tim Howard, 1st minute: Just 39 seconds into the match, Belgium’s Divock Origi challenged the USA defense. He received the ball from the right side, dribbled past U.S. center back Omar Gonzalez and shot toward the near right post. USA goalkeeper Tim Howard made a key kick save to surrender a Belgium corner kick.
BEL – Thibaut Courtois, 21st minute: The USA set up its first shot on goal with some nice one-touch passing. Michael Bradley dished to Clint Dempsey just inside the box and he fired with his left foot, and Thibaut Courtois dove to his right for his first save.
USA – DaMarcus Beasley, 26th minute: Jan Vertonghen stepped up from the left side for Belgium and he tried to find Marouane Fellaini with his cross. USA left back DaMarcus Beasley stepped in at the edge of the six-yard box to break up Belgium’s attempt.
BEL – Daniel Van Buyten, 38th minute: USA right back DeAndre Yedlin made an early impact off the bench after replacing the injured Fabian Johnson. Yedlin crossed from the right side and nearly connected with his Seattle Sounders FC teammate Clint Dempsey, but Belgium defender Daniel Van Buyten made an important header clearance to break things up.
USA – Tim Howard, 57th minute: Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen was the main catalyst for his team’s attack in the early stages of the second half. He tried to slip a shot from the near left side and USA goalkeeper Tim Howard made the foot save as Belgium knocked on the door on several occasions.
USA – Tim Howard, 71st minute: Belgium gained a run of steam straight up the middle and Divock Origi struck from about 19 yards out. He tried to shoot in between U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard’s legs, but Howard once again made a save with his legs.
USA – Tim Howard, 76th minute: With the slightest of left-footed flicks, Tim Howard disrupted a shot by second-half sub and Everton teammate Kevin Mirallas, deflecting the shot away to give up a corner kick.
USA – Tim Howard, 79th minute: For his 10th save of the match, Tim Howard parried away an Eden Hazard shot from the left side. Marouane Fellaini dropped the ball off the Hazard, who had a good look at the right side of the frame. Howard was low to the ground and stretched to his left for the save.
USA – Tim Howard, 104th minute: Still trying to limit Belgium’s lead to one goal, Tim Howard stuffed a Kevin Mirallas shot from the right side for save No. 15.
BEL – Thibaut Courtois, 114th minute: The USA executed a unique free kick in which Clint Dempsey peeled off the defensive wall. Michael Bradley took the free kick, passing to Chris Wondolowski who took a touch to Dempsey at close range in the middle of the box. Dempsey was one-on-one with Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, and Courtois won that matchup with the save to fend off the USA’s surge of momentum.
Tim Howard became the all-time U.S. MNT leader in World Cup caps and starts among modern era goalkeepers, earning his eighth appearance and start against Belgium. The previous record was held by Tony Meola (seven caps and seven starts).
Howard earned his 104th cap overall, which ranks 11th all-time and is two ahead of Keller’s previous goalkeeping record of 102 on the USA’s all-time list.
DaMarcus Beasley, the only American to play in four different FIFA World Cups, made his 11th tournament appearance, which ties for second all-time among U.S. MNT players with Cobi Jones and Earnie Stewart. Beasley made his 120th appearance overall, which ranks fifth all-time.
Clint Dempsey played in his 10th FIFA World Cup game, which ties for fifth all-time in U.S. history with Brian McBride and Claudio Reyna.
Midfielder Michael Bradley earned his 90th cap, which ties for 18th all-time with John Harkes (90 caps from 1987-2000).
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. MNT is currently scheduled to face the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 in Prague, Czech Republic. The kickoff time and stadium information will be announced at a later date.
Broadcast information: TBD
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
The USA is now 8-19-6 all-time in the FIFA World Cup while Belgium moves to 14-17-9 all-time.
The USA is 1-5-0 all-time against Belgium.
The U.S. MNT moves to 5-3-2 in 2014.
The USA is now 2-6-1 all-time in games played in Brazil.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup featured Tim Howard in goal and the same back line from the Germany match: left back DaMarcus Beasley, right back Fabian Johnson and center backs Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler.
The USA’s 4-3-3 formation featured a midfield of Geoff Cameron on the right, Michael Bradley in the middle and Jermaine Jones on the left. This marked Cameron’s first start in the midfield after starting on the back line against Ghana and Portugal. It also was Cameron’s sixth international cap in a midfield role.
The front line included Alejandro Bedoya, Clint Dempsey wearing the captain’s armband and Graham Zusi.
Defender DeAndre Yedlin was called upon early when Johnson limped off the field with an apparent right hamstring injury. Yedlin moved directly to Johnson’s right back position.
Chris Wondolowski entered the match for Zusi in the 72nd minute and Dempsey.
With his final sub, Klinsmann brought in Julian Green, who made his first FIFA World Cup appearance when he replaced Bedoya in the second minute of stoppage time of the first 15-minute overtime.
The USA is 9-5-3 in games with Dempsey as the team captain.
The USA is now 32-13-9 all-time under Klinsmann.
Belgium: Jan Vertonghen (caution on June 17), Toby Alderweireld (caution on June 22), Axel Witsel (caution on June 22), Mousa Dembele (caution on June 26), Steven Defour (ejection on June 26 and was unavailable for Tuesday’s match against the USA), Vincent Kompany (caution on July 1)
USA: Jermaine Jones (caution on June 22), Kyle Beckerman (caution on June 26), Omar Gonzalez (caution on June 26), Geoff Cameron (caution on July 1)
For players who have only one caution through the conclusion of the quarterfinal stage, that yellow card clears from his record heading into the semifinals.
– U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Belgium
Date: July 1, 2014
Competition: 2014 FIFA World Cup – Round of 16
Venue: Estadio Fonte Nova; Salvador, Brazil
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 OT1 OT2 F
USA 0 0 0 1 1
BEL 0 0 2 0 2
BEL – Kevin De Bruyne 93rd minute
BEL – Romelu Lukaku (Kevin De Bruyne) 105
USA – Julian Green (Michael Bradley) 107
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 32), 3-Omar Gonzalez, 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley; 20-Geoff Cameron, 4- Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 11-Alejandro Bedoya (16-Julian Green,105+2), 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.), 19-Graham Zusi (18-Chris Wondolowski, 72)
Subs Not Used: 6-John Brooks, 10-Mix Diskerud, 12-Brad Guzan, 14-Brad Davis, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 17-Jozy Altidore, 21-Timmy Chandler, 22-Nick Rimando, 23-Aron Johannsson
Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
BELGIUM: 1-Thibaut Courtois; 2-Toby Alderweireld, 4-Vincent Kompany (capt.), 5-Jan Vertonghen, 15-Daniel Van Buyten; 6-Axel Witsel, 7-Kevin De Bruyne, 8-Marouane Fellaini, 10-Eden Hazard (22-Nacer Chadli, 111), 14-Dries Mertens (11-Kevin Mirallas, 60); 17-Divock Origi (9-Romelu Lukaku, 91)
Subs not used: 3-Thomas Vermaelen, 12-Simon Mignolet, 13-Sammy Bossut, 18-Nicolas Lombaerts,19-Mousa Dembele, 20-Adnan Januzaj, 23-Laurent Ciman
Not Available: 16-Steven Defour (red card), 21-Anthony Vanden Borre (injury)
Head Coach: Marc Wilmots
Stats Summary: USA / BEL
Shots: 15 / 38
Shots on Goal: 9 / 27
Saves: 16 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 19
Fouls: 11 / 27
Offside: 0 / 2
USA – Geoff Cameron (caution) 18th minute
BEL – Vincent Kompany (caution) 42
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Redouane Achik (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Abdelhak Etchiali (ALG)
Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (TAH)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Tim Howard
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