KRIS LINDSAY - Tuesday, July 1, 2014
The United States run in the World Cup came to an end Tuesday night, losing 2-1 to Belgium despite a heroic effort from goalkeeper Tim Howard.
The Belgians took the lead in the 93rd minute by Kevin de Bruyne, and added another in the 105th minute from Romelu Lukaku before Julian Green stole one back late for the Americans.
Howard came up big for the US, recording a World Cup record 16 saves, including a denial of forward Divoc Origi in the opening minutes of the game. Origi had slipped past defender Omar Gonzalez, and rocketed a ground ball towards goal, but Howard was there.
The USA held on heroically for 90 minutes, and nearly scored at the death. Jermaine Jones headed forward a pass from the wing directly in front of substitute Chris Wondolowski, who's shot skied past the goal.
Just past the start of extra time, Belgium snuck in front. A breakaway in the 93rd minute from substitute Lukaku found de Bruyne in front of goal. De Bruyne danced past a few defenders and slotted the ball far post past Howard.
Lukaku tallied another goal just before the halftime of the extra periods. The Everton forward blasted a shot near post that left Howard helpless.
The United States were given a lifeline in the 107th minute, when substitute Julian Green was on the receiving end of beautiful over-the-top pass from Michael Bradley. The youngster put his one-time shot past Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois.
The USA had a chance to level the game just moments later, on a dangerous free kick that saw Courtois make a huge save on Dempsey, who had snuck behind the defense.
The win advances the Belgians to the quarterfinals Saturday, where they will take on Argentina.
The USA will look forward to the Gold Cup, which will begin in June of 2015.