Team USA Out of World Cup, Loses 2-1 to Belgium

Tim Howard displaying his mastery of goalkeeping against Belgium. Photo from Felipe Dana of the Associated Press.

The United States lost to Belgium 2-1 this afternoon during overtime, eliminating the team from this year’s World Cup and allowing Belgium to advance to the quarterfinals.

Both teams were evenly matched throughout, with no goals scored in the first 90 minutes of regular time. Strong attacks and solid defenses characterized the game, with American goalie Tim Howard, often considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, saving the United States time and time again from fierce Belgian attempts.

All three goals were made in the 30 minutes of extra time. Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne scored first in the 93rd minute, to immediate Belgian jubilation. And just 12 minutes later in the 105th minute, Belgium scored again when Romelu Lukaku was passed the ball by De Bruyne to give the team a comfortable 2-0 lead over the United States.

With only 15 minutes left, it seemed unlikely that the United States would be able to counterattack. But in the 107th minute, Julian Green scored his team’s first goal, giving hope that the game could still be salvaged.

But despite constant attempts to score and some beautiful near misses, the United States was unable to make another goal to tie Belgium, eliminating it from the rest of the tournament. Belgium will go on to play Argentina in the quarterfinals on July 5, after the South American team beat Switzerland 1-0 this morning.

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