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Belgium Eliminates USA From 2014 FIFA World Cup

Jul 2 2014, 12:03am CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Belgium Eliminates USA From 2014 FIFA World Cup
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Belgium scored two goals in extra time to overcome a game United States squad in the Round of 16 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 1.

Belgium beat the United States, 2-1, in Round of 16 play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 1. 

According to USSoccer.com, the United States succumbed to two Belgium goals in extra time with a late charge coming up short. In spite of the loss, American goalkeeper Tim Howard had a dominant performance with 16 saves -- the most ever in FIFA World Cup history: 

"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 staistic 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 reception, 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 Sautrday, July 5, at Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia (12 p.m. ET, AB)."

USA Today Sports' Kelly Whiteside wrote her own recap of the heart-stopping match: 

"At the end, the Americans fell to grass because they had nothing left. They somehow had made it this far, to the Round of 16. 

"Spent after a 2-1 loss to Belgium, after 120 minutes, the U.S. players finally got up and exchanged jerseys. This was a game to remember, in so many imperfect ways. 

"When Julian Green scored in the 107th minute, the Americans had hope, but simply ran out of time. Once again they were eliminated in extra time of the World Cup. 

"From the start, it was clear.  If the Americans were to beat Belgium and its galaxy of young stars, Tim Howard would have to be the best player on the field. Through 90 minutes, he was just that as the Americans forced Belgium into extra time after a scoreless tie. 

"'It's heartbreaking,' said an emotional Howard after the game. 'I don't think we could give anymore. It's heartbreaking. It hurts.'

"After all those shots, 'levee is going to break at some point,' he said. 

"'Obviously, it's a bummer,' U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. 'We were so close. I think we can all be very proud of this team. What they've done the past couple of weeks has been unbelievable, outstanding. They pushed Belgium to the limit...it could have gone either way and this is how these knockout games are. 

"'At the end you need a little bit of luck, that it's going your way,' he said. 'Today we didn't have that.' 

"At the end of the game after 16 saves, Howard was named Man of the Match, in a performance that will be remembered as one of the best by a U.S. keeper. Belgium had 38 attempts on goal, the U.S. had 15. 

"In Salvador, the city of salvation, Howard almost single-handedly saved the day for the Americans. With 104 international appearances and 55 wins, both U.S. records for his position, Howard's legacy is secure. A trip to the quarterfinals would have boosted it considerably. But his 16 saves and impossible leaps and tips over the post, did the same. 

 

"'We know how important Tim is to us,' Klinsmann said. 'He's done a tremendous job keeping us in that game on many occasions. He was just doing his job. Everybody on the field gave everything they had. You just need a little bit of luck and we didn't have that today. But I think everybody can be proud of their team.

"Howard praised the Belgians, saying they were 'fantastic.'" 

For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today. 

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