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U.S. advances in World Cup despite loss to Germany

By Ronald Blum

AP Sports Writer

LAST UPDATED: 10:15 p.m. HST, Jun 26, 2014

RECIFE, Brazil >>  The United States reached the knockout stage of consecutive World Cups for the first time, just not the way the Americans wanted.

Germany beat the U.S. 1-0 Thursday in soggy Recife on Thomas Mueller's 55th-minute goal to win Group G, but the Americans held onto second place when Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1 in a game played simultaneously in Brasilia.

The Germans, three-time World Cup champions, finished with seven points, while the U.S. had four after allowing a 95th-minute goal against Portugal on Sunday in a 2-2 draw. Portugal also had four, but the Americans advanced from the so-called "Group of Death" because their goal difference was even and the Portuguese were minus three.

The Americans will play the Group H winner, likely Belgium put possibly Algeria, Monday in Salvador.

The Americans sprinted out onto the field at the final whistle, about 30 seconds before the other game ended and made advancement official. Brad Davis raised both hands and led the applauding U.S. team to the side of the stadium where the majority of American supporters sat.

Just reaching Arena Pernambuco was an accomplishment. A tropical downpour flooded roads in a beach city known as the Brazilian Venice, and the U.S. bus had to make its way through ankle-to-thigh-high water that slowed traffic and left some cars stalled. Rain fell throughout much of the game, and there were scattered empty red seats.

The game marked meetings of several former international teammates facing each other, an unusual occurrence. American right back Fabian Johnson started for Germany in the 2009 European Under-21 Championship alongside three of Germany's starters Thursday: Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann starred for West Germany when it won the 1990 World Cup and coached his homeland to the 2006 World Cup semifinals. His top assistant that year was Joachim Loew, who succeeded him as Germany's coach after the tournament. The two exchange a hug after the final whistle.

There had been fears before the match that the U.S. and Germany would not attack each other too much and be satisfied with a draw, which would advance both nations.

The Americans never came close to scoring until second-half injury time.

The script was similar to 2002, when the U.S. opened with a 3-2 win over Portugal, then tied South Korea 1-1 and lost to Poland 3-0. The Americans advanced 12 years ago because South Korea defeated the Portuguese on an 80th minute goal.

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Mei mei wrote:
alright alright alright!!! go U S !!
on June 26,2014 | 08:48AM
kuewa wrote:
I second that thought!...if they win advance in the next round, it will definitely be party time for some of us. Meanwhile, loquaciousone can go party or whatever with his guru, Ann Coulter, the self-proclaimed protector of morals.
on June 26,2014 | 01:23PM
kuewa wrote:
oops.. in all the excitement, I forgot to delete "win"
on June 26,2014 | 01:24PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Soccer is so misunderstood because they don't understand themselves. How can you lose and still win?
on June 26,2014 | 09:14AM
Mei mei wrote:
it's based on the point system accumulated - read up on it!
on June 26,2014 | 09:16AM
loquaciousone wrote:
not interested. Watching soccer is like watching grass grow. In fact, grass grows faster than they score.
on June 26,2014 | 09:57AM
HIE wrote:
You have to really have a sad, sad life to come on to a story like this just to diss soccer and show your ignorance of basic math....
on June 26,2014 | 10:42AM
loquaciousone wrote:
If only they had known that their interest in the tournament was destroying the country they call home. Need evidence? Just ask Fox News staple Ann Coulter, who recently wrote a column arguing that "any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay."
on June 26,2014 | 12:14PM
sak wrote:
I prefer to watch paint dry, it's a little faster paced and more exciting!
on June 26,2014 | 02:13PM
false wrote:
Attended a soccer match at Aloha stadium, some 30-40 years ago. Never wanted to see another one again. The only thrill was when the teams kicked soccer balls into the sparse audience in appreciation. Game still hasn't changed except for modern flopping and biting.
on June 26,2014 | 09:43AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Michael Bradley has not had a very good WC to this point. He looked utterly confused today. Still, congrats to the USMNT for making it through to the next round.
on June 26,2014 | 10:15AM
HIE wrote:
Agreed that Bradley's touch & passing has been absolutely horrible in the three group games. However, his work rate, leadership and clogging up the middle defensively was still crucial for the U.S. getting out of the "Group of Death". Hopefully he finds his touch by next Monday!
on June 26,2014 | 10:44AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Ann Coulter calls the growing interests in soccer a sign of moral decay.
on June 26,2014 | 12:16PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Ann Coulter is a true representation of moral decay.
on June 26,2014 | 01:13PM
loquaciousone wrote:
True...but a very highly paid decay.
on June 26,2014 | 03:03PM
false wrote:
Maybe "chicken legs" Coulter is, in her twisted mind, associating soccer with immigration. I'm personally not enthused by the game but at least I've attended and tried to appreciate it. There is room for both soccer and our football in Hawaii. At least try it and see.
on June 26,2014 | 06:11PM