U.S. bounced out of World Cup by Belgium

July 1, 2014
Exhausted US players lie on the ground as Belgium's Axel Witsel (6) celebrates at the end of the extra time during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Belgium and the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Belgium held on to beat US 2-1 in extra time.(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Exhausted US players lie on the ground as Belgium’s Axel Witsel (6) celebrates at the end of the extra time during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Belgium and the USA at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Belgium held on to beat US 2-1 in extra time.(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Kevin De Bruyne turned a heroic night for U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard into defeat on Tuesday with an extra-time goal and an assist that gave Belgium a 2-1 victory and a quarterfinal match against Lionel Messi and Argentina.

With three extra-time goals in a thrilling match, De Bruyne and substitute Romelu Lukaku gave Belgium a big lead before Julian Green closed the gap with 12 minutes to go.

“For my heart, please don’t give me too many games like this,” said Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, who must now get his team ready to face Argentina in Brasilia on Saturday.

Belgium’s unyielding attacks for 90 minutes on Tuesday only highlighted the great performance of the 35-year-old Howard, but the goalkeeper’s teammates finally wilted in the evening heat once extra time came.

“They were all on their limit,” United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “(Howard) had an absolutely amazing match.”

Three minutes in, Lukaku found space on the right and passed into the center. At first, the ball was poked out before De Bruyne gained possession. Belgium’s creative genius still had the energy for a sharp turn and his low shot finally missed the yellow foot of Howard and settled inside the post.

Realizing he had finally been beaten, Howard fell back on the grass almost in slow-motion, arms and legs outstretched and eyes staring up into the darkness over the Arena Fonte Nova. The best man of the match turned out to be on the losing side.

“The levee is going to break at some point,” said Howard, who plays for Everton in the Premier League.

In the 105th minute, Belgium looked like it had put the game away. De Bruyne launched Lukaku into open space on the left and the Everton striker beat his club teammate with a drive to the near post.

It wasn’t over on a sticky, anxiety-ridden night, however. The Americans got late hope when Green pulled one back in the 107th minute with a sterling volley on the turn that Thibaut Courtois could only touch before he saw it fly into his net.

Suddenly, Klinsmann started wildly shouting with flailing arms “Come on, come on,” and there was a new team on the field.

With six minutes to go, the Americans almost got the equalizer. A free kick move set Clint Dempsey free in the center with only Courtois to beat. But the Belgium keeper proved he is one of the world’s best by spreading his giant body to smother the shot.

“The second extra time was a total turnaround. Suddenly, they had all the energy,” De Bruyne said.

With waves of chants of “USA, USA” echoing around the 48,000-seat stadium, the reinvigorated Americans kept searching for a late goal right up until the final whistle.

It never came.

“We just needed a little bit more luck,” Klinsmann said.

Belgium had been criticized for its low scoring rate at the World Cup but it was not for want of trying on Tuesday. The team had 27 shots on Howard, compared to nine for the United States. Howard’s 16 saves is said to be a World Cup record.

Amazingly, in the most lopsided knockout game so far, victory came preciously close for the Americans with seconds to go in regulation time when a goalmouth scramble brought the ball to Chris Wondolowski, who skied the ball over from the six-meter line.

 

moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles pas cher moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet moose knuckles outlet maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher maillot de foot pas cher scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet scarpe nike air max outlet nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher nike tn pas cher air max pas cher air max pas cher stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet stone island outlet barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher nike tn squalo nike air max outlet mcm outlet online moose knuckles outlet happiness outlet happiness outlet shoes