Relive the dramatic 2-2 draw between USA and Portugal as Paulo Bento's side rescue their World Cup hopes with a last-gasp equaliser.
By Barney Corkhill, Staff Reporter Filed: Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 22:00 UK
Last Updated: Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 09:06 UK
Portugal rescued their World Cup hopes with a last-gasp equaliser to draw 2-2 with USA in Manaus this evening.
The Portuguese took the lead early on courtesy of a close-range finish from Nani, but Jermaine Jones levelled things after the break with a fine strike from distance.
Clint Dempsey then put his side ahead by bundling the ball in from close range, but their place in the last 16 was snatched away from them as Silvestre Varela nodded home in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
You can read how another action-packed 90 minutes of World Cup action unfolded with Sports Mole's live coverage below.
10pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's Group G clash between USA and Portugal at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus. We have already been treated to some more scintillating action on the latest day of this incredible World Cup, and the most enticing match - on paper at least - is still to come. The fate of both USA and Portugal could be decided tonight, and it is a very intriguing encounter. The two teams have already been announced, so let's have a look at who will be on show here...
10.02pmTEAM NEWS: Well, the biggest news unsurprisingly centres around Cristiano Ronaldo, who starts for Portugal as expected despite ongoing concerns over his fitness. There are a few enforced changes to the Portuguese side after they picked up a red card and a few injuries in their opener, while USA have also had to replace Jozy Altidore due to injury. Full team news for both sides on the way...
10.06pmSo, what can we make of those two starting lineups? Well, the absence of Altidore will be a blow for USA, and they could well be without him for the rest of the tournament after he picked up a hamstring strain in the opening game. Klinsmann has sprung a slight surprise by opting to move Dempsey into the lone striker's role, with Johannsson and Wondolowski missing out on becoming like-for-like replacements for Altidore.
10.08pmSpeaking of Dempsey, his inclusion is a big plus for America after slight concerns over his fitness. The former Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham man scored after less than 30 seconds in the win over Ghana earlier this week but his influence on the game subsided a little after he suffered a broken nose following an accidental clash with an opponent. However, he showed that he was made of tough stuff by carrying on in the Ghana game, and he will once again play through any pain tonight.
10.10pmElsewhere, the presence of Besler is another positive thing for USA as he was forced off at half time of the Ghana game due to injury. He had looked impressive during his time on the field, and his departure resulted in Ghana getting more joy in an attacking sense and coming back into the match. Cameron remains alongside him, meaning that there is no place for scorer of the winning goal against Ghana, John Brooks.
10.12pmArguably the best player on the park in that win over Ghana was Kyle Beckerman, and he will once again be looking to exert his influence on the midfield tonight. Michael Bradley is quite possibly the best player in the American side, although he didn't show that with a quiet display in his side's opener. He will want to improve that today as he looks to offer more of an attacking threat in the absence of Altidore.
10.14pmPortugal, meanwhile, have had many selection headaches, but the main focus has understandably been on Ronaldo. The Portugal camp has repeatedly insisted that he is fit and ready to play, although pictures of him wearing an ice pack in training and walking around in a knee brace seem to contradict that. Reports emerged earlier this week that he could be jeopardising his career by playing on in Brazil, although that speculation was quickly rubbished by those around him. Even so, it remains to be seen just how fit he is, as the Ballon d'Or winner will be key to his side's chances of success both tonight and in the tournament as a whole.
10.16pmThere have been a couple of enforced changes in defence for Portugal, which could prove to be key tonight. Pepe's mindless red card against Germany earned him a suspension, while Fabio Coentrao has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a thigh injury. Hugo Almeida also picked up a muscle injury in the first match, and he is replaced in the side by old-timer Helder Postiga tonight.
10.18pmBehind the obvious threat of Ronaldo, Portugal will look to get their midfield more involved in the game tonight. A criticism often levelled at Paulo Bento's side is that they are a one-man team but, while Ronaldo is by far and away the star of the show, the likes of Moutinho, Meireles and Nani can also pose a big threat. Moutinho, for example, recorded 10 assists during qualifying - more than any other player in the European section.
10.20pmRonaldo wasn't his usual self against the Germans as his side capitulated around him, He only had one touch inside the opposition area throughout the game, while he didn't pose much of a threat from distance either. This is probably his best chance to perform on the biggest stage in regards to his age, and with Lionel Messi single-handedly winning two games for Argentina, the pressure is on Ronaldo. His record in this tournament is pretty poor for his standards, with just two World Cup goals from 55 shots.
10.22pmUSA will know full well that they must keep Ronaldo quiet tonight, but they have already shown their quality with a good win over a Ghana side that took Germany all the way yesterday. They scored in the first minute and then again late on to secure the victory over the Ghanaians, and another win tonight would send them through to the last 16. They will be looking to take full advantage of a wounded Portugal side and, with Jurgen Klinsmann making them a side that his hard to beat, they could fancy their chances of a surprise tonight.
10.24pmThey came into this World Cup as outsiders to progress from Group G, despite their spot in 13th in the FIFA world rankings. Germany and Portugal were pre-tournament favourites to progress, while Ghana were many people's dark horses. Few backed the States to top the lot, however, and it would be an incredible achievement if they were to book their spot in the knockout rounds tonight.
10.26pmThey booked their place in Brazil relatively comfortably, topping the final round of CONCACAF qualifying by four points. They were also top scorers in that stage of qualifying, although their return of 15 goals in 10 outings isn't exactly free-scoring stuff. Even so, Klinsmann has turned them into a disciplined and organised outfit who can also pose problems in the final third of the field. They showed both of those qualities in the match against Ghana, attacking well in the first half and defending resolutely in the second.
10.28pmThe Stars and Stripes come into this match in fine form having won their last four matches and not been beaten in their last five. Indeed, they have only been beaten three times in their last 25 outings in all competitions, a run that stretches all the way back to May of last year. Even more impressively, 20 of those matches have been victories, included a national record 12 wins in a row last year.
10.30pmWith such form it is perhaps unsurprising that they came into this tournament with high expectations. Klinsmann was criticised for suggesting that it was unrealistic for his side to win the World Cup this year, which gives glimpse of how much hope the fans have for their team in Brazil. They have tasted success recently by winning the Gold Cup last year courtesy of a 1-0 win over Panama in the final, but they won't need telling that the World Cup is a significant step up in quality from that tournament.
10.32pmPerhaps the biggest talking point around the American squad before the tournament was Klinsmann's decision to leave Landon Donovan - the team's all-time leading goalscorer - at home. The injury to Altidore could well magnify that decision, although the early signs are that it hasn't hampered the team too much. They certainly aren't lacking in experience, however, with Howard, Dempsey and Beasley all having turned out more than 100 times for their country.
10.34pmUSA will be confident of at least finding the back of the net tonight considering Portugal's defensive switches and the fact they conceded four in their last match. The Americans have also scored in each of their last seven World Cup outings, although they have only kept two clean sheets in their last 24. Both teams to score, then?
10.36pmIf Portugal are to register for the first time in this World Cup then they will need to pose more of a threat going forward than they did against Germany. At times it looked like Ronaldo had to do it all himself, and whenever one of his teammates got into a good position they seemed to be more eager on finding the Real Madrid man than going for goal themselves. They will be praying that Ronaldo finds his form tonight, and I'm sure the neutrals will be with them. We all want to see the best players performing on the biggest stage, and most have done that so far this World Cup. Ronaldo, your time is now.
10.38pmIt was, of course, Ronaldo who almost single-handedly dragged Portugal to the World Cup in the first place. Having finished one point behind Russia in Group F of qualifying they were forced into a playoff match that saw them take on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden. Ronaldo came out on top in the battle of the superstars, scoring all four of his side's goals in a 4-2 aggregate victory.
10.40pmGoing into the tournament, Portugal were actually in fine form having lost just once in their last 15 outings. They finished the qualifying campaign strongly and were unbeaten during their World Cup warm-up games. They beat Mexico with a late 1-0 victory and thrashed Republic of Ireland 5-1, while Greece held them to a goalless draw. It was all a fairly solid build-up until the horror-show against Germany.
10.42pmIn truth, the only way it could have gone worse for Portugal was if Ronaldo had picked up a serious injury in the match. Pepe did his side no favours by getting himself a stupid and needless red card, but it is also worth remembering that Germany were already 2-0 up at that point and in control of the game. Portugal didn't look up to scratch even with 11 men on the field, and the second off killed any slim hopes they had of launching a comeback. Still, such a heavy defeat is always hard to take, and these players will be aware that it is the worst defeat Portugal have ever suffered at the World Cup.
10.44pmTheir confidence will understandably be rocked tonight following such a comprehensive defeat, and the fact that they are playing a side they are expected to beat may not be a help to them. While USA can't be regarded as minnows of the world game, Portugal do have a habit of struggling against so-called lesser teams. In qualifying, for example, they drew twice with Israel and once with Northern Ireland. Another draw tonight would put them all but out of the competition due to goal difference, while defeat would mathematically see them eliminated.
10.46pmFor a team that has produced so many quality players, such as Eusebio, Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo, it is strange that they have never really threatened to get into a World Cup final. Their best finish was in 1966 when they were eliminated in the semis by hosts and eventual winners England, while they also finished fourth in 2006 when a Klinsmann-led Germany beat them 3-1 in the third-placed playoff.
10.48pmTheir recent record in the tournament is poor, with just one victory in their last eight World Cup outings. Even that came against the minnows of North Korea four years ago, with Portugal running out 7-0 victors. If they are to stand a realistic chance of progressing from Group G this year, they will need to improve that poor record.
10.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we have 10 minutes until kickoff in Manaus, so it is time for my prediction! For me, the outcome of this match relies on how fit Ronaldo really is. If he is firing on all cylinders then I think he will provide us with something special tonight. He usually flourishes on the biggest stage, and his country need him more than ever tonight. If he isn't 100%, however, then USA could well spring a shock using Klinsmann's organisational skills. A draw would be a good result for the Americans, so it wouldn't be a big surprise to see them play for one from the start. I'll go for 2-1 to Portugal in the hope that Ronaldo finally shines at the World Cup.
10.52pmThese two sides have an identical overall record against each other, with both winning two games and scoring five goals in their meetings. The last time they met was back in the group stages of the 2002 World Cup, when USA recorded a famous 3-2 victory to send them through to the last 16. That game saw two own goals, which is the only time that has happened in a World Cup match.
10.54pmOne thing that is unlikely is that USA will get off to as good a start tonight as they did in their opening match against Ghana. Dempsey goal inside the first 30 seconds that night was the fifth-fastest World Cup goal in history, and a repeat of that would really ask questions of Portugal's character.
10.56pmThe conditions of Manaus have been talked about a lot so far this World Cup, and they could once again be a factor tonight. It is expected to be as humid and hot as usual, which leads to players getting more tired more quickly, which could in turn lead to mistakes and openings. Whichever side copes best with the heat this evening could well be that team that prospers.
10.58pmRight then, both sides are just about ready for what is a really enticing fixture on paper. A win would do wonders for both sides and, the way this World Cup has gone so far, I am expecting a really entertaining fixture tonight. It certainly has all the makings of a good one!
1 minKICKOFF: The United States get us underway in Manaus as they look to book their place in the last 16 of the World Cup, while Portugal look to keep their own campaign alive with a win.
2 minRonaldo's first touch is greeted by cheers from the crowd as he picks the ball up and immediately looks to drive forward. He then tries to pass it to Pereira, but he puts too much on it and the full-back can't keep it in.
4 minRonaldo seems to have been given a free role by Paulo Bento here, and he is spending most of his time in a central role. Postiga is also operating in the middle, giving USA's centre-backs plenty to worry about.
5 minWhat a start for Portugal, but what a nightmare for Cameron. A pretty poor cross comes into the box and the Stoke defender swings a leg at it when trying to clear the danger. However, it skims off his shin and flies straight to Nani, who fires past Howard from close range. That is just what Portugal needed!
7 minNow it is USA's time to respond to an early goal. They were ahead within one minute against Ghana but now find themselves behind in the opening exchanges here. It really was a poor goal for them to concede as Cameron should have dealt with the danger easily. Howard, meanwhile, went to ground early, which made it easier for Nani.
9 minThat goal has really given Portugal a boost at the start of this match, and they are now completely on top. USA and struggling to deal with them at the moment as they look to steady the ship following that terrible start.
10 minPositive play from USA as Johnson bursts down the right flank to latch on to a good through-ball. He then cuts back inside before firing a shot towards the near post that is blocked behind for a corner.
12 minChance for America here as Johnson comes forward again before being felled by a poor Alves challenge. USA have a free kick within shooting distance, although the angle is against them. It would have to be some strike to beat Beto from here...
13 minCLOSE! It is not far away from Dempsey. The midfielder curls a powerful effort over the wall and has Beto very worried as it flies narrowly over the crossbar. That was a decent strike from Dempsey.
15 minPostiga and Meireles are both down for Portugal here, with the latter on the end of a heavy challenge from Beckerman. The greatest concern seems to be surrounding Postiga, though, who could see his night cut short already.
16 minPORTUGAL SUB: Postiga is indeed coming off as Eder replaces the injured striker after just 16 minutes of action. That is a blow for Portugal, who now only have two subs to use in the latter stages of what is sure to be an energy-sapping night.
17 minSAVE! USA are on top in this one now, and they threaten again here as Dempsey is released down the right channel. He has no-one else in support so tries to squeeze the ball in at the front post from a tight angle, winning a corner off Beto.
18 minSHOT! Dempsey is involved again from the resulting corner, peeling off to the back post and finding a bit of space in the box. He tries to lob an effort into the far corner, but it lands a couple of yards wide.
20 minThere seems to be a slight concern over Almeida here. The full-back has had a little chat with his manager on the touchline and is carrying on for now, but it is certainly something to keep an eye on. Two injuries in the opening 20 minutes would be a major blow for Portugal.
21 minAlmost a lovely pass from Bradley as he tries a long through-ball forward for Dempsey to run on to. Beto is alive to the danger, however, and comes a long way off his line to clear the danger.
22 minVeloso has space outside the box and can't resist the temptation to shoot. However, his effort lacks any real power and trickles a long way wide of the mark, with Howard untroubled.
24 minSHOT! Decent effort from Bradley as he is given space around 25 yards from goal. He takes a touch on his left before letting fly, but his powerful effort fizzes a yard or so over the bar.
26 minAs expected, Dempsey is looking like USA's most dangerous player at the moment. He is making some good runs and doing an admirable job up front alone. His side are just about on top at the moment, but it has been a fairly even contest on the whole so far.
27 minDempsey again poses the threat as Zusi feeds the ball in to Dempsey, who spins well but then sees his shot well blocked. USA are getting a lot of joy down their right flank at the moment.
28 minCLOSE! More nice play from the States as Zusi and Dempsey linked up to find Bradley. Again he goes for goal from range, but this time he scuffs his shot towards the far corner. Beto can't reach it, however, and for a moment it looks like it might trickle in before it rolls a yard or so wide.
30 minGood covering from Beasley as he sweeps up behind the defence to cut out Ronaldo's pass towards Eder. Portugal are struggling to create much in the final third at the moment and it is USA who look most like scoring.
32 minSHOT! USA are looking really good when coming forward at the moment. Again Dempsey is at the heart of it as his dribbles into the middle of the field behind finding Johnson on his right. The full-back cuts inside and has a dig from range, but his powerful strike flies narrowly wide. That was not far away at all, good football.
34 minEder has struggled to make an impact since coming on for Portugal. He is a big and imposing player, but he has been unable to bully the two American centre-backs so far. Cameron, meanwhile, has responded well to that early error that gifted Portugal the goal.
35 minSAVE! Beto has certainly been the busier of the two keepers so far. Jones shows good footwork in midfield to skip past a challenge before drilling a low shot towards goal that the Portuguese shot-stopper gets down well to hold.
36 minSAVE! At the other end Ronaldo has the first real chance to have a go from distance, but it wasn't one of his trademark efforts as he scuffed a shot into the arms of Howard, who made a routine stop.
38 minIt has been a very good reaction to USA since that early goal, and they have been the better team since going behind. However, they have mostly been limited to long shots so far, and Beto hasn't had a really testing save to make.
40 minThe referee stops the game momentarily and the players trot over to the touchline to take on fluids. They didn't have that luxury in the previous matches here, but it is a wise decision from the ref. Play will restart with a drop-ball.
42 minSAVE! Lightning break for Portugal as they nick the ball off Beckerman and give the ball straight to Ronaldo. He plays it across to Nani, whose strike from the edge of the box is well saved by Howard. Moments later, Portugal win a free kick in a very good position. Ronaldo stands over it...
43 minPoor from Ronaldo. A sense of anticipation hung around the ground as he lined up the free kick from a perfect position, but he fires over by some distance. For all of his qualities, his free-kick taking ability does tend to be overstated.
45 minOFF THE POST! Incredible! Portugal almost double their lead right on the stroke of half time as Nani's effort goes straight through Howard, who gets the slightest of touches to put it onto the post. It comes back out to Eder, whose effort looks to have eluded a recovering Howard, only for the keeper to react brilliantly and turn it over the bar. It was almost a howler from Howard, but in the end he made a world-class stop there.
45+1 minThere will be two minutes of added time at the end of this half.
11.54pmThe referee brings an end to the first half with Portugal leading by a single goal, which came after just five minutes. USA responded well to that early setback and had a couple of half chances to find an equaliser, but largely they were limited to long-range efforts. We are all set for a cracking second half in Manaus.
11.56pmThe goal came as a result of an American defensive error as Geoff Cameron failed to clear a poor cross into the box, diverting the ball into the path of Nani. The Manchester United winger found himself with time and space inside the area, and he made no mistake by blasting his effort past Howard, who made things easier for him by going to ground early.
11.58pmThe closest we have come to a second goal came right on the stroke of half time as Nani's effort hit the post following a mistake from Howard. However, the Everton keeper did brilliantly to recover in time and tip Eder's rebound over the crossbar when it looked like he had been wrong-footed.
12amIn truth, this match is there for the taking for either side. USA have probably been the better team in general play but, Dempsey aside, they seem to lack the extra bit of quality in the final third. Dempsey has threatened on a number of occasions, but a lack of support means that Beto has not really been forced into tough save so far.
12.02amRonaldo has shown flashes of his brilliance, but he is yet to really grab the game by the scruff of the neck. He has, predictably, looked like Portugal's most dangerous player, and some moments have suggested that he is not struggling for fitness. He has managed to get into full flow on a couple of occasions, including one scintillating run down the left flank that saw him take on three USA players.
12.04amPORTUGAL SUB: Portugal make a change at the break as William Carvalho, who has a lot of promise, comes on for Andre Almeida.
46 minKICKOFF: Portugal get us back underway in Manaus as they look to hold on to this lead and keep their World Cup dream alive. As things stand, Group G would be very nicely set up going into the final day, with just three points separating the four teams.
47 minCarvalho does well to win possession back high up the pitch and Ronaldo immediately pounces on the loose ball. He has space around 25 yards from goal and winds up for a left-footed strike, but he scuffs the effort and it fails to reach Howard in the USA goal.
48 minCHANCE! Chance for Eder as he gets a lucky break inside the box. Nani's delivery should be cleared by Cameron, but he hammers the ball straight at Besler, with the ball rebounding to Eder whose acrobatic effort goes over the bar.
49 minUSA come forward now and once again they choose to attack down the right. Johnson leads the charge, but his cross is deflected and forces Beto to push it behind for a corner which comes to nothing.
51 minEder seems to be getting sharper as this match goes on. He picks the ball up on the left side of the area and immediately spins and looks to get a shot away. He doesn't catch it right, however, and rather scuffs an effort into the side-netting of the near post.
53 minReally good chance for USA to break from a Portugal corner, with Johnson in acres of space down the right flank. However, the ball gets caught under the feet of Dempsey, allowing the red shirts of Portugal to get back and clear the danger.
55 minOFF THE LINE! Oh my word what an incredible piece of defending from Costa to deny USA a certain goal! It is a really good move from the Americans as Zusi slips the ball through to Johnson, who reaches the byline before taking Beto out of the equation by pulling the ball back to Bradley. The midfield is only seven yards out and fires it towards the largely empty net, but Costa makes a magnificent clearance off the line.
57 minThat clearance really is as good as a goal for Portugal. It looked like a certain goal, and you could say that Bradley simply had to stick it in, but it was a brilliant piece of defending from Costa. You won't see a better one in this World Cup.
59 minHow big could that moment prove to be? USA now have half an hour to turn this match around, otherwise they will go into their final match against Germany needing to equal or better Portugal's result against Ghana.
60 minPortugal are looking very vulnerable down their left at the moment, with Johnson running riot on that flank for USA. The Europeans just about deal with the latest attack down that side before seeing a counter-attack emphatically stopped by a fine Cameron challenge.
62 minCHANCE! That has to go down as a chance for a man of Ronaldo's quality. Eder releases him down the right on the break and he uses his pace to race through on goal. The angle is against him, but even so his effort is terrible. He slices it well wide of the near post when he should have at least made the keeper work.
64 minOh how about that from Jones?! The midfielder equalises for his side with a stunning effort from outside the box. The ball dropped to him on the edge of the box after Portugal had half-cleared a corner, and he cut onto his right before thumping a curling effort into the far corner. Beto was rooted to the spot there, what a strike!
66 minSAVE! Things are heating up in Manaus now! Howard comes to to punch Nani's effort away from Ronaldo, but his touch only takes it to Meireles on the right side of the box. The midfielder takes the ball down and fires it towards the near post, but once again Howard recovers well to make an important stop.
68 minNani has been his usual inconsistent self tonight. At times he has shown signs of being the man to unlock the American defence, but on other occasions he has failed to make the most of some good positions.
71 minPortugal have responded well to that USA goal, enjoying an increasingly rare spell in the ascendency since parity was restored. USA just need to weather this storm as they have been good value for at least a draw in this game so far.
72 minUSA SUB: A change for USA as Bedoya goes off to be replaced by young DeAndre Yedlin.
74 minPortugal are asking all the questions now as USA begin to sit back and protect this scoreline. They did this against Ghana in the first game and were fortunate to score a late goal, so they must be careful of inviting too much pressure onto themselves here.
75 minYELLOW CARD! The first yellow card of the match goes to Jones for a heavy sliding challenge on Moutinho. He can have no complaints with that one.
77 minUSA seem pretty happy with a draw in this match, with the emphasis very much being put more on defence than attack in these closing stages. It is probably a wise decision as a draw would put them in pole position to qualify alongside Germany, but on the other hand all three points would send them through tonight.
78 minBesler is at full stretch to cut out a through-ball destined for Ronaldo, but he seems to have hurt himself while making the interception. He went off during the first match too, but looks like he may be OK this time. No chance for Brooks to repeat his late heroics against Ghana.
80 minPortugal are looking the more likely at the moment as we enter the final 10 minutes of this match. Nani comes forward on the right before cutting inside and powering a left-footed effort some way over the bar.
81 minUnbelievable! Once again USA come forward down the right flank and once again they punish Portugal. The initial cross is only cleared as far as Bradley, whose shot deflects to Zusi on the left side of the area. He clips it back into the middle, and Dempsey is there to bundle it home with his stomach! Incredible scenes as USA move to within nine minutes of the last 16.
83 minIf ever Portugal needed Ronaldo to come to the fore, it is now. They are on the verge of an early World Cup exit having squandered their one-goal advantage here against a spirited American side. Can the Ballon d'Or winner come up with something special to rescue his side?
85 minHere is a chance. William Carvalho bursts forward from midfield and wins a free kick around 35-40 yards from goal. Surely this is out of shooting range even for him?
86 minHe does indeed play it short before attempting to build another attack. The ball eventually deflects into Ronaldo's path, but the Real Madrid man can't convert from close range as Howard makes a fine stop. Ronaldo's blushes are spared by the linesman's flag, however.
87 minUSA SUB: What a shift Dempsey has put in for his side again tonight. He makes way after another fine performance to be replaced by Chris Wondolowski.
89 minCHANCE! There is the chance for Ronaldo to rewrite the headlines as Moutinho clips the ball into the middle. Ronaldo gets his head to the ball, but it isn't a clean contact as he puts it a yard wide of the far post. He will be disappointed that he didn't do better there.
90 minCLOSE! Alves almost squeezes a superb effort in at the near post as he throws himself into the air to keep a deep cross alive. It almost sneaks in to the bottom corner, but Howard seemed to have it covered as it hit the side-netting.
90+1 minUSA SUB: A third and final change for USA as Zusi makes way to be replaced by Omar Gonzalez.
90+2 minPortugal have five minutes of stoppage time to save their World Cup. Can they do it or will USA hold out?
90+4 minCHANCE! Another half chance for Ronaldo as he rises highest inside the area to connect with a cross. However, he seemed to jump too early and couldn't get any power on his header as he put it wide. Time is really running out now.
90+5 minOh this is incredible! Portugal rescue their World Cup dream as the final seconds of stoppage time ticked away. Ronaldo was the man they looked to and he provided a magnificent cross to pick out Varela at the back post, with the sub nodded past Howard from close range. Unbelievable end to this match as USA are made to wait for their place in the last 16 and POrtugal get one final reprieve. What a World Cup!
12.58pmWhat more can this World Cup throw up for us? Another incredible finale to the game sees Portugal handed a World Cup lifeline with a last-gasp equaliser against USA. The Americans came from a goal down to lead 2-1 and they were seconds away from booking a place in the last 16 before Varela got on the end of Ronaldo's cross to send the Portuguese players wild.
1amRight, that is all we have time for this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was yet another incredible match at this remarkable World Cup. Group G is very finely poised now going into the final game, with all four teams still in with a shout of progressing. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction, analysis and player ratings. We will have plenty more live action for you tomorrow as well, so join us for that. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!